Review of the film “Half a Century of Poetry Later.” The Witcher from the world of fan productions

Probably the most ambitious and large-scale amateur film adaptation of the works of Andrzej Sapkowski.

The witcher»From Netflix – Definitely one of the most anticipated series of the year. It is hard to remember when there was such a stir around every news about a project. Everything from casting to final trailers was discussed in detail, discussed and, for the most part, criticized. And now, only a week is left before the premiere, and fans of Pan Sapkovsky’s work and games CD Projekt Red sharpening pitchforks and axes to make a mess about each episode. At this very time, a group of enthusiasts from Poland finally posted on YouTube their long-term construction – a short film that grew a full meter from fans and for fans.

Temeria, 1296. Twelve years have passed since the death of Wesemir and Esquel. Of all the witches of the Wolf School, only Lambert is left, who now loiters around the villages almost aimlessly, hiding from bounty hunters. By the will of circumstances, he meets in the tavern an old acquaintance – Triss Merigold. She, in turn, pursues the rebellious sorceress that escaped from Arethusa, taking with him a grimoire of Alzur – the creator of the witches. Why she needed it is unknown, but the book was not just kept under lock and key, and it must be returned at all costs. Hastily exchanging taunts, Lambert, Triss, and at the same time, the bastard of Lutik Julian set off in pursuit of the sorceress.

The film successfully brings to the screen a rather specific relationship of Triss and Lambert

The first thing to say about “Half a century of poetry later“- this is that he does not feel amateurish. Low-budget – yes, but not amateur. For comparison, in May a fantasy horror appeared in the Russian rental “Monster time“, Which cost a little more (30 thousand dollars against about 25). So, against his background, “Half a Century of Poetry” looks an order of magnitude larger, more diverse and simply cinematic. But this, for a second, is just a YouTube video that does not pretend to be at any box office at all. That is what genuine enthusiasm and devotion mean. The creators of four years with virtually no budget, “partisan”, did and remade their creation. The fact that a lot of things had to be changed in the process can be seen in the early frames ( Judging by them, the original plot of the film was in many ways different, which, of course, was reflected in the final result, but more on that later.

Unlike the Netflix series, in the picture, the eyes of the witchers are what they should be according to the canon – feline

Of course, the main value of “Half a Century of Poetry Later” is the atmosphere. So exactly to recreate the Sapkowski universe on the screen, in which the cultural motifs of Eastern, Western, and Northern Europe were intertwined, previously only magicians from CDPR were able to. Of course, it’s too early to judge, but the Netflix series doesn’t even blow anything like that. In the film, we see the very Temeria about which we read or trampled on the Roach hooves: all these gullies, farms, red brick castle ruins – everything is so familiar and dear. And filmed as juicy as possible, with camera spans and gorgeous panoramas. But half of the effect, of course, is created by the music of Katarzyna Bonikovskaya, which largely imitates the soundtrack “Wild hunt“But also complements it with rather minor motives. Still, the story in the film is not funny – almost all the heroes loved by the fans are either dead or about to die.

The selection of locations in the film is simply fantastic

But those that remained are presented with dignity. Actors take not just a game, but rather charisma. First of all, this, of course, concerns Mariusz Drazhek in the role of Lambert – a very colorful guy. Add snow-white hair, and it would have turned out to be quite competent Geralt, but the eternally sarcastic friend of the White Wolf also came out perfectly. The rest for the most part simply correspond to the given types, but more is not required from them. Unless the villains are completely faded – a sorceress with rather murky motivation and an irrepressible libido, and a bald big guy who is more suitable for the role of a mini-boss, but certainly not the final opponent.

With fights, everything is neither shaky nor swath. They were shot mainly in the twilight and, it seems, this is a deliberate attempt to hide the flaws of choreography. It may look naturalistic, but somehow slow, awkward and completely unimpressive. Rare special effects, let’s say, are acceptable – this is probably the maximum of what you can do with your own hands and without a budget.

Review of the film

Most of all amateurism is felt not in the acting and not in the production, but in the script. One gets the impression that the plot outlined the main turning points, but how to draw them and how to distribute them according to the timing, no one had any special idea. This is probably one of the consequences of the remaking already mentioned on the go. Some scenes were thrown out, others as if out of pity – it was too cool an idea. Some dialogues are successful, with jokes and disclosure of characters, others are formal, necessary exclusively to move the plot. And due to the fact that the events are rather unevenly shredded according to the acts, the feeling of wholeness is lost, the climax flies past, and the finale comes as if suddenly. The film went, went and ended.

Buttercup again played the Polish bard Zbigniew Zamahovsky. He played the same role in the 2002 series

But all this does not greatly detract from the achievements of the team. Once again: a group of Polish donation enthusiasts made a film based on The Witcher. Full length. And he looks great, carries away, and sometimes even manages to impress. And we still don’t know if the same could be said for the Netflix series. In the meantime, “Half a Century of Poetry Later” is the best adaptation of the works of Andrzej Sapkowski to date and one of the largest fan films in history.