Sunday, October 16, 2005

Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)

Just back from seeing Night Watch, a dark fantasy about the battle between Light and Dark. This is the first in a trilogy of movies and is set in modern day Moscow. Here's what it's all about...

There are those among us called Others, humans with special gifts that make them part of the war and they must choose their own path, light or dark. It is said that a perfect Other will come and, choosing one side or the other, will either raise the Earth to the light or plunge it into darkness. Both sides are evenly matched and a truce is in effect, has been for centuries. It is policed by the Night Watch for the side of Light and the Day Watch for the Dark and punishment for any transgression is harsh but neither side is allowed to take the life of the other.

The plot centres around Anton Gorodetsky, a seer with the Night Watch. While trying to protect a young boy from the call of a vampire, he accidentally bumps into a young woman and has a premonition of doom centering around her. He then goes on to save the boy but inadvertently kills the vampire and so becomes a target for the Day Watch. It is believed that the woman is cursed and her coming will herald the end of the truce, the coming of the perfect Other and the final battle to decide the fate of the world.

One thing to mention is that this is a Russian film with a Russian cast and, although there is some English narrative used to good effect, the dialogue is in Russian with English subtitles. However, these are extremely well used to enhance the story. They come and go, dissolving, wafting away, sliding behind objects, etc. and it gives it almost the feel of a comic-book.

This is definately different from the usual fantasy movie and I quite enjoyed it even though it's a wee bit hard to grab hold of at first. There are two definite sub-plots on the go, which don't actually merge as you'd normally expect, and a definite twist or two two as well. Can't say more than that, other than I expect the sequels will pick up and run with the main storyline as well as dealing with a few of the loose ends.

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Horror
My Rating: 6/10

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