The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

The Night Watch

Posted by Deliverator on February 27th, 2006

Went and saw The Night Watch with Alex and his girl (sorry, her name eludes my pitiful memory at the moment. The Night Watch is one of the most sucessful movies to come out of Russia since Battleship Potemkin. Yes, it has been that long. I originally saw this film online a number of year’s ago, but the only available subtitles were computer translated from Portuguese, having probably been computer translated from Russian. Needless to say, I was left a bit confused. They have done a bang up job in brushing up the subtitles for the film’s US release and I was very happy to see the film again with a native speaker. I would have liked to see the film as it was originally released, as the version being shown in theaters has been cut quite severely, bypassing several major plot elements and leading to a couple of non-sequitors as a result. Still, it was a very enjoyable experience and I look forward to seeing the sequels.

The premise of the Night Watch series is that the forces of good and evil met on a bridge in Byzantine times and began the final battle. The leaders of both sides realized that they were evenly matched, so decided to call a truce and put off Armageddon till another day. Fast forward a millenia or so to modern day Moscow, where the not quite human “others” have been enforcing the much strained truce for far too long. The forces of good patrol the night keeping the bloodthirsty ghouls and vampires from eating small children as they please, but licensing them to kill on occasion, to keep them alive…er undead…so as not to force the final battle. After a thousand years of compromised virtue, the line between good and evil is drawn mighty thin indeed. The whole feel of the movie is very gritty, visually driving home this point at every opportunity.

The next movie in the series, The Day Watch, is already popping up online, although no subtitles are available save Russian ones. I am going to put off watching the sequel until proper US subtitles are available. Who knows, perhaps it will be screened at this year’s SIFF, which as Alex made a point of reminding me, is just around the corner. I will have to add it to The SIFF Spreadsheet of Doom!