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Black death - Boromir's back and he's not in a good mood
Black Death (DVD)
Member Name: celticgirl84
Black Death (DVD)
Advantages: the scenery is all gloom and doom as it should be
Disadvantages: Shallow characters, overacting
When you see the trailer to this movie, sadly, you don't have to see no more. So, if you expect a good history mystery, don't. Beside the elements, and just elements, of mystery it's a movie with a very predictable plot about an estranged monk, a vengefull knight and a pale maiden who just happens to be a witch.
"Black death" (2010.), drama/horror
Director: Christopher Smith
Carice van Houten....Langiva
Duration: 1hr 37 min
In 1348. Bubonic plague sows death all over England. A young monk named Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) fears for the life of his beloved, Averill, and sends her away to the woods near the marshes. Averill (Kimberley Nixon) promises she'll wait for him in the woods at dawn for a week. Looking for a way to join his girlfriend Osmund volunteers to be a guide to a group of mercenaries sent by the Bishop to investigate a village at the border of a marsh, untouched by the plague and suspected of hiding a magician who bringins back the dead. The group's leader is Ulric (Sean Bean), a bloodthursty knight eager to destroy the people who turned their back to Church.
Ulric's group is consisted of men who have seen many deaths and have faith or a fee as a reason to go after the presumed witches and the pagans in the untouched village. The oldest, Wolfstan (John Lynch) takes care of Osmond. His mates Dalywag (Andy Nyman), Griff (Jamie Ballard) and Mold (Johhny Harris) are rude men but firm belivers ready to die for God and kill some witches along the way.
The group arrives at the point where Averill promised to wait for Osmund but there he finds her bloody cape and, calling for help from his companions, he actually leads them into an ambush. Wounded and tired the group crosses the marsh to finally arrive to the untouched village, pretending to seek only for a place to rest. Villager Hob (Tim McInnerny) offers them to stay and rest before they move on.
Lady Langiva (Carice van Houten), who seems to be the matron of the village, takes care of their wounds and invites them to be honorary guests at dinner. While the group drinks and eats with seemigly friendly villagers Langiva calls Osmund to show him Averill's body. He is devastated but there is more to be added to his suffering when, led by Langiva into the woods to a group of maidens dressed in white hoods, Osmund sees Averill rising from the dead. He is petrified, relizing the stories about the village are true and that Langiva knows why Ulric and the others came to the village.
The morning after, waking up from the drug that was sipped into their wine, the mercenaries and Osmund are held hostage and Langiva gives them a choice- to renounce God and live or remain belivers and die. Osmund is even offered to stay and live in the village with Averill. Each of them makes his own choice. And the choice Osmund makes turnes his soul into one filled with doubt, grief and the wish to make amends.
Eddie Redmayne is good as a confused young monk wondering if it's right to deliver faith to a lost soul by killing it's body.
Sean Bean's performance of a witch hunter is pretty lame since his role has just one dimension - a knight slaying the pagans in the name of God. On the other hand, this role is shadowed by the role of Boromir from the Lord of the rings where Bean played a more vivid and not such a flat character.
Carice van Houten is a good actress, but here she cartooned her character of a witch by overdoing the dangerous-mysterious look that was supposed to frighten Osmund, and the viewers. I think Carice focused only on being the wicked witch, putting the matron and the throne elements of a wicca Priestess figure aside.
Those of you used to see Tim McInnerny as a funny face will be pleasantly surprised to see him as Langiva's cruel servant Hob. Comedians playing sociopaths - pretty creepy, in a thrilling way.
Still, the characters all together didn't seem to manage bringing a witch hunt story to life.
The thing that mends the movie a bit is the scenery - a dark convent revealed only by the candle lights, filthy abbey yard filled with corpses and misty forests and marshes. Put together with random shots of burned and decapitated women supposed to be witches the scenery truly conjures the gloom and doom of the Black death ages.
If you're a history mystery fan don't expect more then what you can read in school books about the witch hunts and the usual prejudice people had, and still have, about the witches.
Summary: a school example of a witch hunt movie