DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

MONIQUE NAZARETH

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
'The Witcher' Fits the Grim Fantasy Mold
December 21, 2019  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment
 


Someday someone is going to explain to me why fantasy kingdoms always seem to be located in cold, dark, bleak medieval woodlands teeming with monsters.

It's a fantasy, right? So you can locate it anywhere, right? So why hasn't someone ever set it in a place like Aruba, where it's always sunny and 82 degrees with a light sea breeze and no toot of the angry horn?

No one seems inclined to buy my line of thinking, however, so meanwhile, we're back to cold, bleak, and medieval with The Witcher, which debuted Friday on Netflix.

Perhaps fittingly for a fantasy series, this is just the latest incarnation of an oft-told tale that began when Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski entered a magazine fantasy short story contest in 1986.

He won a third-place prize and subsequently has built on that foundation. His eight Witcher novels have spawned a film, graphic novels, video games, and now the TV series, whose first season runs eight episodes. It has already been renewed for Season 2.

Set in a medieval-style kingdom surrounded by cold dark woods, The Witcher revolves around title character Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill).

Witchers, whose numbers are dwindling, are born with the ability to slay monsters. While this may sound like a desirable skill in a kingdom where monsters present an ongoing danger to the populace, it turns out that witchers are widely distrusted. When they stop in at the tavern for a drink after slaying a succubus, they will often be told to just move along.

Geralt seems resigned to this as he stoically moves through the kingdom hunting and terminating grotesque creatures. It's not lost on him, however, that the more dangerous monsters may lurk inside humans.

That bit of wisdom will hardly come as a shock to anyone who has watched Game of Thrones or ever read any other fantasy novel.

When we meet Geralt, he's being offered a gig by a wizard named Stregobor (Lars Mikkelsen). Although his services do seem to be for hire, Geralt balks at the nature of this mission, since it involves the mysterious Princess Renfri (Emma Appleton).

Not surprisingly, he and the Princess have an encounter that helps set both their future courses.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, the kingdom is being overrun by a numerically superior enemy with consequences for Queen Calanthe (Jodhi May) and her granddaughter, Princess Ciri (Freya Allan).

Ciri eventually meets Geralt, who has an older lady friend in Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), and they all become part of the rolling adventure.

It doesn't take a fantasy geek to figure out those adventures will involve power struggles among humans as well as encounters with fantasy creatures. It's not Game of Thrones redux, but it's in the family.

Cavill plays Geralt just as one would imagine, with an imposing physical ruggedness and sometimes straggly hair. The women also show considerable strength, which is appropriate.

Some of the violence charges right up to the edge of graphic and only rarely crosses the line. A superfluous naked nymph-like woman in the first episode suggests The Witcher will offer a bit of that as well.

The visuals, in general, run toward dark and ominous. They don't look a bit like Aruba. That clearly is a fantasy whose time has not yet come.

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
JNSGF
Type in the verification word shown on the image.
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: 
1 Comments
 
 
JOSH
the witch is a show i never really expected to happen, after playing the viode game that i really liked i never expected the witcher to be released as a movie but it did and was very great looking forward to the second season. check my post on https://www.joshdriod.com/light-downloads-xyz/ https://www.joshdriod.com/lightdl-movies-download-lightdl-latest-movies-download/ https://www.joshdriod.com/lightdl-xyz/
Jan 31, 2020   |  Reply
 
 
 
 Page: 1 of 1  | Go to page: