Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson; Bathsheba Garrett.
A serious film that picks at the heart of our psyche – being part of the social group versus apart and left in isolation, waiting for the devil in the woods.
In the 17th century, being cast out meant the threat of starvation, lack of others outside the family for partners and left at the mercy of the elements. A time for belief in God. But not in the winter time. The creaking of the pine trees speak of winter. The witches are the only ones who can survive in the forest.
The Witch is an authentic film pulling the audience back to times where evil is present because life is just as cruel.
I can understand the worship of nature where the power is unknown. God is the only amulet against the power of the forest. But when God was most exalted and prayed upon, He was most absent.
To control the nature of man equals control of the elements. It’s a cruel concept. And depicted so well in this film.
A failed crop would equate the man failing to provide through lack of work or lack of faith. The enslavement of women to the care of children, to clean and cook. If the woman rebelled it was because she was faithless. And you can imagine the temptation to run off naked into the forest to become a witch. But this film depicted the true horror of witchcraft. The taking and killing of babies to make lotions, to make them young; to be able to fly.
It was subtle, how Director and Writer Robert Eggers showed the disintegration of this family. The Sanpaku eyes, where the white part of the eye is visible under the iris representing approaching danger; the attraction of accidents and violence – The ignorance of the skill of dogs sensing danger. And the soundtrack was used well to keep the film moving forward.
However, I admit, I was bored at times.
I can understand why Robert Eggers won the Sundance directing award for this movie. And I want to give full credit, but I can’t because it was just such a dry film. Deep but dry.
Worth a watch with the concept handled well until the frightening conclusion.
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