Monday, June 1, 2009
Day 113: Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) - Rank: 3/5
A greater and more stylized amalgamation of countless elements there never was. "Brotherhood of the Wolf" features martial arts fighting (choreographed a la "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), a supernatural beast, the French Revolution, Vincent Cassel at his most Vincent Cassel and surreal costumes and sets, even for a French period piece. The story follows the royal taxidermist and his Iroquois Indian cohort as they endeavor to slay the legendary Beast of Gevaudan - a task set before them not unlike the hunting of the shark in "Jaws." There is also an overarching theme of religion vs. science as the age of reason encroaches on 17th century France, the natural world threatening the stance of the spiritual.
And yet, for all of these attributes, I had trouble "getting into" the film. Objectively, I thought it was an excellent film, though a little long winded at times. But as for personal preference, it just didn't click. I've been chewing this one over for a bit and all I can conclude is that it was too much of everything. The film was operating on so many levels at once, it almost became to addling to enjoy the exquisite battles. In turn, the plot would become so engrossing at other points that a fight or appearance of the beast almost seemed obtrusive. There's no regret in my partaking the film - rather, it left me with a desire to view it again, simply for the sake of absorbing all it had to offer.
Watch the Trailer