(CNN)"The Green Knight" offers a reminder, if immoderate were needed, wherefore you don't spot galore movies adapted from 14th-century poems. Even those intrigued by tales of King Arthur and his knights mightiness find this ambitious movie arsenic impenetrable arsenic armor, though the lush imagery and epic code supply immoderate compensation for embarking connected this weird, hallucinatory trip.
Writer-director David Lowery ("A Ghost Story") indispensable beryllium persuasive successful a transportation meeting, since helium sold idiosyncratic connected financing a task based connected an anonymously written communicative devoted to Sir Gawain (Dev Patel), Arthur's nephew, who embarks connected a chivalric quest.
Introduced arsenic a less-heralded subordinate of the court, Gawain is amazed erstwhile Arthur (Sean Harris) asks that helium articulation him astatine dinner, and further taken aback erstwhile the King requests a communicative that volition assistance to cognize him better.
"I person nary to tell," Gawain responds, to which the Queen (Kate Dickie) adds portentously, "Yet."
An accidental rapidly presents itself, arsenic Gawain bravely (and possibly foolishly) steps guardant to conscionable the situation of a mysterious, elephantine fig known arsenic the Green Knight, who has barged into Camelot. Confronting the carnal with a mighty whack, he's told that helium indispensable travel to the Green Chapel successful a year's time, erstwhile the knight has pledged to proceed their "game" by returning the favor.
The imaginable means Gawain faces what looks similar astir definite death, but helium strikes retired equipped with the emotion of a section maiden (Alicia Vikander) and encouragement from his parent (Sarita Choudhury), who assures him helium tin past what awaits him.
What ensues unfolds astatine an almost-hypnotic pace, filled with unusual encounters and interludes, breached up by an on-screen publication that hints astatine the adjacent limb of Gawain's ordeal.
The movies that travel to caput related to this mythology -- among them "Excalibur," "Camelot" and adjacent "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," on with much caller incarnations similar "King Arthur: Legend of the Sword" -- don't connection overmuch assistance preparing for what Lowery has successful store. The travel includes an episodic premix of ghosts, giants, temptresses and mysterious beasts, with each dream-like detour prolonging Gawain's march to the inevitable showdown and the eventual trial of his mettle and manhood.
Occupying practically each scene, Patel makes a striking and relatable hero, spending overmuch of the clip arsenic confused arsenic the assemblage is apt to be. Indeed, those expecting a rousing escapade should beryllium forewarned, since the enactment is mostly much intelligence than stirring.
For each that the movie is visually interesting, gathering toward a decorativeness that's some thought-provoking and arsenic vague arsenic what preceded it.
"The Green Knight's" sheer originality makes the movie worthy considering for anyone with a sensation for specified material. Whether that merits the pilgrimage to a theatre arsenic opposed to the comfortableness of one's castle could good beryllium a equine -- oregon knight -- of a antithetic color.
"The Green Knight" premieres July 30 successful US theaters. It's rated R.