Monday, April 29, 2013

Season of the Witch

Image Courtesy: Google

At first, I thought this would be a movie about the great witch-hunt during the second part of fifteenth century to the early eighteenth, and the usual sympathizing with those people who were fried and grilled on stakes in public. But then there is a twist. One of the witches that is hanged and drowned as part of the exorcism ritual as per the ‘Book of Solomon’, comes alive and kills the priest who performs the rituals.

Season of the Witch was released in 2011 and directed by Dominic Sena. Nicolas Cage plays the protagonist, a Teutonic Knight named Behmen von Bleibruck. He and his friend and companion, Felson (Ron Perlman) decide they should quit the crusade. The massacre of the innocent people in the name of god is out of their comprehensibility of justice.
Claire Foy
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As they return, they pass through villages hit by the disastrous plague. Black Death had claimed not just villages but cities as well. The two horsemen are spotted by the military in the city and are recognized. As the deserters of the church, they are imprisoned. But the king summons them. He too is bed ridden with blisters with the size of tennis balls, all over his body.  The king assigns the two knights with a mission; the city had captured a witch (Claire Foy). The two knights should take her to a remote monastery where the monks possess the book that can cure possession.
S. King
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I remember Ron Perlman from the Stephen King movie Desperation; the weird police officer in the town called Desperation? But Season of the Witch is a different ground for Perlman. Not even like Hell Boy. Needless to say, I am very much hooked to the role of Ron Perlman rather than Nic Cage. Don’t know why. I am a Cage fan, but this one must go to Perlman.

Ron Pearlman
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The story is nice; it gives a fantastical background to the historical event of the Black Death. There is good ground for some quality witch-craft and horror show in the medieval background. The journey to the monastery holds our attention, but unlike any other flicks about journey or adventurous mission, Season of the Witch dwells mainly about the question of identity of the witch. Many times we doubt if she is actually a witch or just accused by the tradition for being so, just because she is different. I had thought that it would be a sort of fictional rectification of a historical wrong. But it is hardly anything close.

At the end…the twist awaits. This twist will solve all your questions regarding which side the movie has taken in the legendary witch hunt and all. What I think funny about Season of the Witch is its language. The characters, though from the mediaeval period, all use the American language. They all say “shit”! (No pun intended.)

A scene from the movie
Image Courtesy: Google
This movie does not leave you feeling bad about watching it. But you feel more happy imaging yourself happy watching it. You have Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman and all the setting and wonderful art direction. Still, you might feel dissatisfied due to some reason you do not want to put your finger on. However, you would like to like it too, much due to the above mentioned reasons. It is one of those movies which can be similar to faked orgasms. It works, sometimes, you know.
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