The Green Knight

Vampire Owl: I have read about this particular tale during my graduation.

Vampire Bat: It has not been surprising that all vampires learn BA English Language and Literature, and most probably, also its post graduation.

Vampire Owl: Well, vampires do learn more than they need.

Vampire Bat: Yes, almost all the undead has double post graduation.

Vampire Owl: This film still comes as a surprise though.

Vampire Bat: Yes, we were not expecting any more of such movies on Amazon soon.

Vampire Owl: Yes, and with one of those tales from our British Literary History studies.

Vampire Bat: That makes the world feel quite small.

Vampire Owl: Well, you know that is never large enough for a demonic invasion.

Vampire Bat: In that case, there is not enough for the eaters of multiple realms.

[Gets a vegetable puffs and three cups of Vagamon special tea].

What is the movie about? :: The setting is in Camelot, the castle and court of the legendary King Arthur (Sean Harris), who has now turned old, and hopes that someone else could take over his place, someone worthy enough, even though there are many knights of the roundtable who could hold that position to take over the country. It was a long time ago that he taken the sword Excalibur out of stone, and claimed his throne with the help of one great sorcerer – but things are not the same again, as there is a certain amount of darkness that had engulfed the country, which seems to continue through the Christmas season which had just started, as the power of the king is at the all-time low. The king’s nephew, Sir Gawain (Dev Patel) have been leading a life of no knight, even though he is supposed to become one very soon. He goes through all the hedonistic activities as he can, and wakes up in a brothel alongside a common woman whom he fell in love with, despite having royal blood running through his veins.

So, what happens with the events here as we just keep looking? :: Gawain gets the scolding from his mother due to the same reason, but on one Christmas day, he attends the feast at the great round table of the knights with King Arthur, who gives him a better status, as he is the son of his sister, and a possible choice for the throne at some point of time. It is then that a strange creature in armour, riding a horse comes into the court and talks of a game. Calling itself the Green Knight, the creature tells him that any knight in the court can land a blow on his body and win his green axe, but the same person will have to come to the Green Chapel on the very next Christmas dar, and he will have to receive the exact same kind of blow in return. When the fight begins, the Green Knight gives up, and Gawain comes with a blow so hard that it severs the knight’s head. Then the knight rises and leaves with his severed head, after reminding him of the deal.

And what more is to be done with this adventure related to one green knight? :: Gawain spends the rest of the year merry-making with his common woman love, Essel (Alicia Vikander), but his mother Morgan le Fay (Sarita Choudhury) knows that he has to keep his end of the bargain and face the Green Knight at some point. So, finally when the next year’s Christmas season arrive, he starts his journey towards what seems to be his destiny. During his journey, he comes across a battlefield with dead bodies everywhere, and is ambushed by a group of people who ties him up and steals anything on him that seems valuable. But Gawain manages to get free and go after them. But random robbers on the road won’t be the major problems that he will have to face during this quest. This quest is woven out of magic, and it won’t end like a usual adventure ends for a knight who comes up with random acts of courage and honour. After all, these are the times when knights are always supposed to do better than earlier.

The defence of The Green Knight :: The movie maintains its dark elements really well instead of turning this into a light fantasy as one would expect as far as King Arthur and the related stories are concerned. The dark atmosphere does help in transporting us to an uncertain world of mystery rather than the usual space of certain heroes and villains placed on opposite sides. The setting, especially the landscape is incredibly beautiful, and the same can be said about the buildings around too, as the feeling of a medieval world is nicely recreated – the touch of magic can also be felt in between. One wouldn’t agree if there is a talk about this world not being filled with magic. The background music also adds a lot to this particular world. It had to be so, as any tale related to King Arthur has that feeling in the background. The film works as the coming of age story of a knight, which is nicely portrayed by Dev Patel in what might be among his best roles till now. The rest of the characters are just the path for him towards the final destination.

The claws of flaw :: The Green Knight, as it moves away from the usual fantasy adventure with a knight trying to meet his destiny, the darker side is added, and the same might not be what people might be looking for. The film also drags in between, as we have a certain time period in which nothing much happens, and the same could have been trimmed to make this film shorter. One can feel that there are too many dialogues here, and some of them seem to be pointless – they could have been replaced by some more of action, which is rather difficult to come by in the middle stages. The final moments are also not that strong as one would have expected in the beginning stages. The messages here could have also been clearer, and some elements of coming of age might have looked better if used in a more innovative manner. The opportunities to add more to the tale and expand the same have been many, and here we see no strengthening additions.

How it finishes :: Making a film out of a chivalric romance work of unknown authorship, written in the late fourteenth century, and make it suitable for this age is no easy task, as the same is not a huge adventure with big monsters that appeal to the big screen and the masses. I do remember reading about this work as part of my studies as well as the later teaching process at the college. Well, British Literary History is quite fascinating, and these are some of the earlier works which we go through in the syllabus after that Anglo-Saxon literature being looked at. So, this work is more or less like nostalgia for me. Even if the question papers in this part of the world do not really ask any question related to this one, we are all aware of the tale’s worth, and the same has been reasserted with this film, that seems to have done justice with the original thing. This is certainly not your usual fantasy adventure, and as long as you can look past the same, this will work really well for you.

Release date: 24th September 2021 (Amazon), 27th August 20201 (India)
Running time: 130 minutes
Directed by: David Lowery
Starring: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Erin Kellyman, Barry Keoghan, Atheena Frizzell, Nita Mishra, Tara McDonagh, Helena Browne, Megan Tiernan, Emmet O’Brien

<— Click here to go to the previous review.

<— Click here to go to the previous English film review here.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

The Nun

What is the movie about? :: Making everyone aware of the events before The Conjuring 2 related to the demon nun, the viewers are taken to a monastery in Romania which is more or less resembling a castle from the medieval age. The nuns at the monastery are attacked by a demonic presence and the surviving nun, Sister Victoria (Charlotte Hope) commits suicide. Her body is discovered by Maurice Theriault a.k.a Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet) who brings the supplies to the monastery and believes that the crosses around the building only keeps the evil inside, not preventing anything evil from getting inside. Vatican, after knowing about the problem, sends the veteran investigator of the paranormal, Father Burke (Demian Bichir) to investigate, along with the British novitiate Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) who is supposed to have her special visions.

So, what happens with the events to follow? :: They do reach the destination and meet up with Frenchie who introduces the place as belonging to the Dark Ages or even further before. They find the body to be sitting instead of lying as it was kept earlier. Burke and Irene stays at the monastery while Frenchie returns home, only to be attacked on the way, near the tombs. Burke and Irene are also attacked by demons, but they manage to survive, and so does Frenchie who somehow reaches the local tavern. Burke who is almost buried alive is saved by Irene, and he hopes to do more with his skills. They figure out that there is a long history for the monastery which used to be a castle, and it says a story of demons, witchcraft and more terror that lies beyond and beneath. What they are seeing outside is only the tip of the iceberg, and more is to be revealed.

And what is follow with the tale? :: Sister Oana (Ingrid Bisu) at the monastery reveals to Irene that there is a terrible past that is not known about the monastery. She tells Irene that in this space, a castle by a duke who was obsessed with dark magic existed during the middle ages. The duke was killed by the forces of Vatican and the portal to hell which he was opening, was sealed with a certain artifact having the blood of Jesus Christ. It was the bombings of the Second World War that opened the portal again, and it seems that evil has crossed over to this world from the other. To prevent this evil entity from taking over, the nuns keep praying all the time, calling perpetual adoration to be the only chance to keep the demon away. But the question remains if that would be enough, as the demon is more powerful than they could ever imagine, and they are running out of time.

The defence of The Nun :: The best thing about the movie its setting itself. The Gothic setting gives the mystery more life, and we can feel the horror from the environment itself. The Gothic architecture with hidden secrets makes sure that we are wondering what would happen next. The scares are also waiting to happen at almost all corners. The darkness and the sound effects are also used to make sure that the frightening sequences manage more. The creepy feeling is always present. The movie also leaves something to bring a prequel to the beginning of the demon Valak’s existence in this world. More of how much it frightens you is based on your willing suspension of disbelief, and it is certainly not that easy in the modern world as far as the demons are concerned – humans can do that better, and be the bigger threat to their kind.

The claws of flaw :: There was something special expected with a movie of The Conjuring like The Nun. But the same is not delivered here, and the movie also seems to be confused about making the best use of the genre by adding the jokes when things should have been kept serious. The best of of the elements is not there when needed. There are also moments when the movie seems to provide the feeling of Evil Dead, a flick with which this one should have kept a distance considering the kind of themes the two deal with. Even with the religion and myth, the movie could have achieved more. It could have been longer with scarier moments with all those features that a Gothic castle in Romania could provide, taking us back to the memories of Bram Stoker’s Dracula itself.

The performers of the soul :: Taissa Farmiga remains strong throughout this movie, and it is a quality that has to be appreciated in horror movies when its heroine raises the level very much. Even though the name is not that much familiar to those from this part of the world, her work in the series American Horror Story did establish her as a scream queen much earlier. Demian Bichir makes a strong hunter of demons in this one. Jonas Bloquet supports pretty well, and adds a certain funny side even to the more serious sequences – that happens when not needed too. The other characters are of lesser relevance in comparison, and as in any other horror movie, they have a bigger struggle for survival compared to the main characters – from the results itself, it is clear that their existence is of less significance throughout the movie.

How it finishes :: The series of horror coming from The Conjuring franchise is never getting old – we have had The Conjuring, Annabelle, The Conjuring 2, Annabelle 2 and now The Nun, almost none of them failing to leave a mark in one way or the other. The Annabelle doll in the movie brought one spin-off earlier, and the demon Valak now brings another. There is always scope for a lot more in The Conjuring universe, but it surely have to do better, and more than what The Nun did. Despite agreeing to the fact that this is an enjoyable flick, the franchise needs to bring something special to keep the level of horror higher. All of us welcome each and every movie in the franchise with a lot of expectations, and there is always scope for more with all those demonic spirits among which many more are yet to come from hell.

Release date: 7th September 2018
Running time: 96 minutes
Directed by: Corin Hardy
Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Jonny Coyne, Sandra Teles, Mark Steger, Manuela Ciucur, Ani Sava, Jared Morgan, August Maturo, Claudio Charles Schneider, Michael Smiley

<— Click here to go to the previous review, and what precedes the same.

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.