On December 20, the long-awaited premiere of The Witcher by Netflix took place. The film adaptation of the eponymous series of novels by the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski has attracted close attention since the announcement in May 2017. For almost three years, book fans have been arguing with fans of the game about exactly which Butcher from Blaviken should appear on television. Cybersport.ru watched the first two series and is ready to share impressions without spoilers.
The series has a very complicated tie. The producers of the project significantly redrawed the disclosure of the book’s plot line, so it will be difficult for an uninitiated person to immediately understand what kind of a stir is happening on the screen. The show is very leisurely, and in some places it is quite superficially introducing the viewer to the fictional world of Sapkovsky. Witchers, mutants, the war of the North and South, Druids, sorcerers and huge terrible monsters – all this falls upon the viewer literally from the very first episode. Nevertheless, if you read books or at least are familiar with the lore of the games of the CD Projekt RED studio, you will feel like a fish in water.
Fears about casting did not materialize. Even before the premiere, many critics were enthusiastic about Henry Cavill and his transformation into Geralt, but they talked about other characters much less and more modestly. I was pleasantly surprised by the acting of the women’s quartet Freya Allan (Ciri), Jody May (Queen Kalante), Ani Chalotra (Yennifer) and Emma Appleton (Princess Renfrey). In the first two episodes, their heroines turned out to be very charismatic and, more importantly, very individual. They do not act as talking sets for the witcher, but have their own very interesting and dramatic storylines. So deep that sometimes they fade into the background the story of the monster hunter himself.
Netflix The Witcher – Not About Witchers. In the first episodes of the show, unexpectedly much attention was paid to secondary characters, and Geralt himself had less screen time than expected. The spectator learns more about the caste of monster hunters from conversations and caustic comments by the crowd than from the visual exploits of Geralt himself. The series does not focus on the banal hunt for monsters, but focuses on the problems of public morality. Here it will be appropriate to recall the main slogan of the first season: “The worst monsters are those that we create ourselves.” This is not said at all about the chimera, the stryga, the drowned man or the kikimora, but about people.
Screen adaptation turned gloomy and adult. She pretty closely matches the mood of Sapkowski’s books and an age rating of 16+. Get ready for plenty of blood, severed limbs and brutal killings. Well-aimed arrows here fall not in armor, but directly in the eye, piercing the head through and through. The producers show the horrors of war without embellishment and grimaces. Monsters, too, turned out to be scary, although in the first episodes they are not common. Of course, there will also be frank scenes in the series, as we learned from merged photo frames. But isn’t it all the time for the audience to look at the blood and guts?
The Witcher has enough sad irony and even humor. Sometimes the humor seems very subtle, almost elusive without context, but in some episodes it is shown very clumsy and rude, although this usually does not spoil the scene. In books and games, Geralt often made sharp jokes about the wickedness of the day or shared ironic conclusions. In the series, the character of Cavill so far turned out to be more restrained and silent, although it is difficult to judge by the first series. It is difficult to talk about chemistry between the actors of the film adaptation: the narration in the show is structured in such a way that at the beginning of the season the main characters have not yet met each other – each of them has its own story arch and its own adventures.