Monday, March 13, 2006

Nochnoi Dozor

I went and saw the Russian film Nochnoi Dozor (or Night Watch in English) this past weekend. I saw trailers for this film two years ago and am not sure what delayed its release but was very happy to find it within 100 miles of me. It is a very good film though not quite what I was expecting. I thought that would more closely resemble Underworld than it did with forces of supernatural warriors (vampires and werewolves) conducting secret war which is what the trailer suggested. While there was a secret war between supernatural forces, it was far more complex than these films usually are.

It was at its core a philosophical debate between the notions of what it means to be good and what it means to be evil (though the terms light and dark are more commonly used in the film and are more accurate to what is being depicted). Is one light or good because ones claims to be or because one acts in a particular way? The question is not yet answered as there are two more films coming. (I have heard that the third will be shot in English and I hope that this does not mean that Hollywood will give short shrift to the plot and abandon the philosophical nature of the debate in order to include more special effects and Eurotrash raves as the Matrix films ended up doing)

The other interesting and not yet fully developed theme is on the nature of sin. Is mere intent a sin? Can sins be redeemed? Can sinners be redeemed? What happens when good people sin? The movie ends by asking these questions. I can only hope that Dnevnoy Dozor (Night Watch 2) will take a good shot at providing some sort of answer.

Anyone reading this should go and watch this film if at all possible.


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