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Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) February 2, 2007

Posted by Shujath in English, Movies, Reviews, Russian.
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I had my own apprehensions when going for something like this but the mostly positive reviews and the fact that this was the all time biggest hit in Russia (it was later dubbed into English) made me try it. This film is the first in a trilogy which will be followed by “Day Watch” and “Dusk Watch” in the coming years. All I can say is that I won’t be in the list of people watching the sequels.

Right from the beginning you can figure out that this is going to be one heck of a wierd movie. But alongside this wierdness, the worst part was that it got progressively incomprehensible. The actual plot (which I got a vague idea of only towards the end) goes something like this. The warring forces of “light” and “dark” reach a truce wherein the “light” guys patrol the night (hence Night Watch) while the “dark” folks own the day. In the midst of these, there are “others” – people with special powers who could end up moving to the “light” or “dark” side. Our hero is one such “other”, working for the “light” and trying as usual to save the world. Amidst this, there is lot of other mumbo jumbo happening which simply went over my head.

Now, you might wonder what made a movie with a plot like this so famous…the one single reason being the way it has been visualized and filmed. The snazzy special effects are the only thing which did not make me switch it off (though I won’t say they made me like the movie either). I found it really hard to believe that apart from Hollywood someone could come up with such technical wizardry.

Konstantin Khabensky (a top Russian star) plays the lead and he is quite impressive. Writer-director Timur Bekmambetov deserves praise for the way in which he filmed this stuff but unfortunately I cannot say the same for the actual plot. For me this was one of those films which tries hard to be different but goes haywire in the process. You might want to watch this for the visuals but still it wouldn’t be easy to sit through (atleast it wasn’t for me). 

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