THE GREEN KNIGHT
IF you arrive at The Green Knight expecting epic battles and swashbuckling sword fights, you're going to leave disappointed.
This is a very different kind of medieval fantasy film. It's more psychological than action-packed.
It's essentially a tale of morality and virtue and of nature's enduring power over mankind.
Writer-director David Lowery (Pete's Dragon) based his story on the 14th century Arthurian poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Sir Gawain, played by Dev Patel (Lion), is the nephew of a frail King Arthur and a member of the Knights of the Round Table. He's good natured, but spends his time drinking in a brothel with his commoner lover.
Following a scolding from his mother and the King's sister Morgan le Fay (Sarita Choudhury) about his lack of duty on Christmas Day, Gawain is motivated to show his mettle.
At Christmas dinner the tree-like Green Knight appears at Camelot and challenges the Knights of the Round Table. We will allow anyone the first strike and then he'll repay the blow equally a year later.
Gawain steps forth to accept the challenge as King Arthur warns, "remember, it's only a game."
When the Green Knight bows in defeat, Gawain reluctantly chops off his head. However, the Green Knight rises and picks up his severed head and declares he will return the blow to Gawain next Christmas.
A year later Gawain, at King Arthur's urging, heads out on a perilous journey to face the Green Knight and his fate.
Naturally The Green Knight is heavy on the supernatural and symbolism, which makes the plot tedious at times.
The film in artfully shot, painting a gothic presentation of Arthurian England, full of mythology.
Patel also shines in the lead role as the tortured Gawain, who is conflicted between his own mortality and the external force of honour that's driving him toward his fatal predicament.
Australian actor Joel Edgerton pops up in the second half of the film as a lord, who takes in Gawain, but it's a role that offers little to the overall plot.
Fans of medieval mythology will find plenty in The Green Knight to fire their imaginations, but the laborious story and lack of action may make it a difficult watch for others.
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF MELBOURNE
DOES the world really need a fifth season of The Real Housewives of Melbourne?
Plenty would argue not, but here we are with another "supposed real life" look at how the glamorous and wealthy end of society live in Melbourne. The pandemic has obviously destroyed much of the glamour of Melbourne over the past 18 months, but there was an opening last summer to film the latest season.
Original cast members Janet Roach and Jackie Gillies return, the latter celebrating her pregnancy with twins after two years of IVF. Long-term cast member Gamble Breaux is also back after spending lockdown breeding Pomeranians and recording an album. Yep, you read right. The new cast members are Cherry Dipietrantonio, Simone Elliott, Kyla Kirkpatrick and Anjali Rao.
There's the usual focus on the characters' lifestyles and interests, but who really cares? Viewers are only watching for the volcanic arguments, and as always, they're well catered for.