Thursday, January 27, 2011

Season of the Witch

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Nicholas Cage - Behmen
Ron Perlman - Felson
Claire Foy - Anna (The Witch Girl)
Stephen Campbell Moore - Debelzhaq
Robert Sheehan - Kay
Ulrich Thomsen - Eckhardt
Stephen Graham - Hagamar
Christopher Lee - Cardinal D' Ambroise

The Crusades war started in the beginning of the movie and lasted some time. Behmen and Felson were both appointed knights serving the church to battle against the non-believers of God at that time including witches.
Behmen lost faith in the sanctity of the mission when he witnessed innocent women and children falling under the sword as well, and returned with Felson to home.
They soon discovered that the Black Plague had swept across Europe and killed most of the townspeople.
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Behmen and Felson were summoned by the Cardinal D' Ambroise, who was also infected with the plague to perform a mission.
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They were to escort a young girl who was accused of witchcraft and who was responsible for the plague to the monastery/abbey in Severac to be judged by the monks and strip her off her witch powers.
Behmen initially refused as he was angered by the Church constantly abusing the powers to put innocent people to judgment.
He was thrown into jail and when he saw how terrified the poor girl who was accused as the witch was, he agreed to the Cardinal's orders upon one condition; that the girl would be given a fair trial.

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Behmen and Felson would set out with Debelzhaq, a priest and guided by a swindler, Hagamar whose crimes would be pardoned if he were to show them the way to the Severac monastery. On the way, they encountered a honest and courageous lad, Kay who was an altar boy trailing them from the beginning of the journey. He pleaded with them to allow him to join them on their mission for he wanted to be Knight after the mission.

Behmen told him to go home but he challenged Felson to a fight, and after witnessing his courage and skills, Behmen decided to let him join to assist them on their journey. They stopped by at the woods at night to put up for the night and they took turns to watch over the girl inside the wagon.
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Eckhardt was the first one to take the shift and was later joined by Debelzhaq who volunteered to take over his shift. However, as Eckhardt was unable to sleep as he was missing his only daughter, Mila, who had died in the plague, he started chatting with Debelzhaq.
It was then that the witch girl pleaded with Eckhardt not to leave her alone with Debelzhaq and Eckhardt was surprised at the terror felt by the girl towards Debelzhaq and proceeded to question her from near.
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The girl then pulled the key from Eckhardt's neck and escaped into the dark of the night.

The men chased after her and ended up in an isolated town which was also infected by the plague. Eckhardt, while on the chase, was disturbed by images of his dead daughter and was accidentally killed by Kay.
The men then found the girl and brought her back to the wagon, and buried Eckhardt.

They continued on their journey, and they came to a broken down bridge whereby they crossed the bridge with extra caution.
Kay almost fell of the bridge, and the girl saved him with only one hand, displaying an extremely unnatural strength.

They arrived at the infamous Wormwood forest; where bravemen were known to have been missing and were never found when they enter the forest.
They put up the night at the forest out of desperation due to the thick fog surrounding them. At night, Behmen found Hagamar attempting to murder the witch girl to end their journey so that everyone could go home. Hagamar was starting to be terrified of the girl and blamed her for Eckhardt's death, and he was afraid that they would all die if they continue on the journey.

The girl was then seen to be able to summon the wolves and the men had to ward off the attacks of the packs of ferocious wolves.
Hagamar died in the attack; and ended up being devoured by the hungry wolves while the team escaped. Behmen and Felson started to have doubts of the girl; and even Behmen started believing that she was no ordinary girl.

Behmen then wanted to kill off the girl, but was stopped by Felson as they caught glimpse of the monastery. When they arrived at the Severac monastery, they were devastated to find that the monks have all been infected with the Black Plague and had died.
They found the Key of Solomon book however; an ancient and sacred book containing all the rituals to dispel witchcraft and evil.
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Behmen summoned Debelzhaq to perform the ritual and it was then that the girl started reciting all their sins and made them retreat with guilt and shame. When she relived the guilt in Behmen's heart about killing an innocent woman, Felson was taken aback as to how she would know and Debelzhaq then realized that she was not a witch, but being possessed by a demon.

Debelzhaq then proceeded to recite the rites for exorcism and the girl then transformed into a demonic being; melting the cage.
The men then ran to uncover more holy water to battle against the devil and found several monks died while copying the pages from the Key of Solomon.
They then realized that it was the devil's intention right from the start to deceive them into believing that it was a witch and the real objective was to come to Severac all the while to destroy the sacred book of the Key of Solomon so that darkness would rule forever.

They then fought with the devil; and the devil twisted Debelzhaq's head while he was reciting the rites of exorcism.
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Kay then took over and continued reading while Felson and Behmen struck off the possessed bodies of the monks.

Felson died and even Behmen suffered serious injuries, but the devil was finally destroyed with the full ritual of exorcism as performed by Kay. Behmen, with his last dying breath told Kay to take good care and to protect the girl, Anna, and to send her home.

Kay and Anna, upon giving them a proper burial and Anna thanked them, asking Kay to tell her of their brave deeds and together, the two set off with the Key of Solomon in Kay's hands.

My opinion:
I was preparing to watch a witchcraft movie, and was thinking from the start, "not another movie to talk about the Church's evil doings! Why do all the movies have to go against the Church"
I admit that even I was starting to believe that the girl was innocent of witchcraft and as the movie progressed, I was doubting my own verdict and start to suspect of her being a very powerful witch.
I did not expect such a huge change; it was all the while an exorcism movie and frankly speaking, I never did like exorcism movies.

Perhaps it was due to the fact that I was not really having high expectations watching this movie that I found it quite entertaining although I did find the notion of the whole movie rather confusing as well.

Were they trying to portray the Church as good or evil, or they were trying to blame it all on the Devil for causing all the evil in the world?
Ultimately, perhaps it was also trying to tell us that evil had existed for a very long time, and that the human beings acting on behalf of religion had already been infected with the courses of evil.
I was also telling my partner that in the movie, the devil was portrayed to want to deceive them into bringing it to the monastery. This is due to the fact that the devil always wanted to challenge the highest authority of the religion (good).

It is true, sadly, that most people are often telling others that they are acting in the name of God but yet performing evil deeds, killing and slaughtering others.
God never asked us to do something like that; rather, on the contrary, God always tells us to love one another as He had loved us.

Nicholas Cage did another good job here; as usual but at times I find him a little underrated in this movie as a crusader who was constantly feeling guilty of his sins.
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Newcomer Claire Foy was not bad to mislead the audience as the innocent girl and then the devious witch and finally into someone more than that. That was quite some transformation.
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The cast were quite good in general, but the storyline could have been more interesting to inject meaning into the movie, and not leave everything to the imagination alone.

It was a rather entertaining movie, but don't try to decipher too much into it, you will only end up confusing yourself.
I just find it a little terrifying at times; as I am not one for a lot of horror and even violent scenes like the

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