Saturday, January 22, 2011

Movie review: "Season of the Witch"

Last weekend girlfriend and I decided to go to cinema, and between "13" and "Season of the Witch" we picked the later. I don't usually like Nicholas Cage's movies, but it turns out this wasn't so bad after all.

First scene of the movie is very realistic and violent scene of hanging and drowning of three witches. During night, one of them comes back to life and kills the priest responsible for it. Then we are switched to a completely different scenery. In this movie, Cage plays Behmen and Ron Perlman plays Felson. They are buddy-buddy pair of knights, fighting infidels in the Crusades. After a massacre of civilians, they are sickened by war, and especially by Church which preaches the war as just and holy. They dessert and start a journey to their homes, but they get caught eventually, in a town besieged by plague. In fact, whole country is plagued. They are offered freedom in exchange for transporting a young women accused of being a witch and a source of the plague, to a remote monastery. Disappointed by Church, they decline at first. But Behmen thinks girl innocent and abused by Church, so he decides to escort her, hoping she will get a fairer trail in the monastery. A company is assembled and thus the journey starts...

First part of the movie is nothing exceptional, but it is done decently good. Cage and Perlman make a funny pair (I was reminded of Gibson-Glover relationship from "Lethal Weapon" series) and they don't look stupid at it. Atrocities of the war and its consequences are shown very solid and convincing. But journey, the middle part of the movies is really good! We are shown some very confronting facts and everything is left to audience's imagination. You can't be sure what is really going on and who is good and who bad. Very mysterious! There are few especially good and intense scenes (the maze, the bridge and the wolves). Until the end you are left to wonder...

...And then comes the end which leaves nothing to imagination, which sucks. It is not a bad ending; it is very emotional and intense. But after all those psychological games that left me in guessing what's going on, they reveal it all. And final bad guy feels a bit stupid and unimaginative. I would prefer ending being left undecided and mysterious, and then this would be really great movie. The positive side would be that ending is surprising; I don't think many persons would guess it.

In the end, "Season of the Witch" is a nice movie, with somewhat spoiled ending. But definitely a nice way to spend an evening, especially if you like fantasy.

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