First Season of The Witcher Reviewed: Good or Bad? - CINEPLES

First Season of The Witcher Reviewed: Good or Bad?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

TV series: The Witcher
Film genre: Drama web television series
Story: Andrzej Sapkowski
Stars: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra
Creator: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
Release date: December 20, 2019

Geralt of Rivia

With a sharp sword and a ponytail, Henry Cavill traverses a fantasy realm fighting scary monsters in Netflix’s adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s cult fiction series. Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski started a series of stories and books which gave birth to comics, an earlier tv series, movie, video games, and many more popular concepts.

This review is not for those who are hungry for Easter eggs.

A sword-wielding slayer, scorned by society, following a moral compass all his own. But not even a Witcher can fight destiny. Cavill plays Geralt of Rivia, a legendary witcher in a pseudo-medieval fantasy realm known as the Continent. What is a “witcher” and why does your autocorrect keep rejecting it as a word? Well, a witcher is, so far as I can tell, kinda a man-witch? They can’t experience emotions, but they can apparently experience sexual pleasure?

Storyline: Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, journeys toward his destiny in a turbulent world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. Geralt traverses the land with Roach collecting small bounties. He kills evil creatures ripped from the pages of a vintage European fairy tale book.

At the same time, series creator Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is introducing two other characters — flaxen-haired princess Ciri (Freya Allan) and aspiring mage and current hunchback Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) — who are going through their own separate adventures.

pic credit Getty image

They have tried to astonish viewers by representing both the events of present and past at the same time but they were unable to create the proper sense of time because the sequence and filming of the motion pictures weren’t perfect or that much creative. Some mistakes are recognizable.

Role-playing: Truly It’s not satisfying. As much I think only Freya Allan and Roach played their roles as realistic as possible. Anya Chalotra’s acting was good but sometimes it was getting a bit unreal. On the other hand, Cavill’s reactions like looking here and there, getting angry, responding to other’s dialogues are pretty much robotic. Julian Alfred Pankratz(Jaskier) played his role quite well.

Cinematography and CGI: There are some doubts about filmography or camera movements. It was extremely inconsistent, for every great shot – there was something that was amateurish. The vintage effect of the film is fine but the CGI is not that much good! After watching Warcraft and Game of Thrones we can say that its animations look lifeless. The green screen and the sets are a bit cheap looking. For a show like this, it is not good enough. The game has better graphics than the series.

Dialogues/Scripts: All the speeches used by the character were proper but most of these are experienced in many previous movies or tv series and we have heard them so many times. The lyrics of the songs represent the story well.

Music: They have used a variety of instruments, including virtuosic violin, hurdy-gurdy, lute, erhu, breaths, dulcimers, psaltery, harmoniums, and a wide range of percussion and drums to create the series’ music. The intent was to use old, even ancient, instruments to create a modernized sound. Of course, every track needed to conform to the series’ overall mood and direction, and in many cases that meant contorting the traditionally beautiful sounds instruments such as the xun to conjure more twisted noises, according to Ostinelli.

“We took a lot of Renaissance and medieval instruments and used them in a contemporary way,” Ostinelli said. “One instrument, the xun, came from China and has a beautiful warmth to it, but we added distortion to make it sound quite menacing.”

Belousova noted that sourcing some of the instruments, such as the hurdy-gurdy, proved particularly challenging. The hurdy-gurdy originates from medieval Europe and has to be handcrafted, and there are precious few American producers who can create the instrument. “The Witcher” was unlike any television show Belousova and Ostinelli previously worked on, and not just because its protagonist is a magical bounty hunter who adventures around a world of wizards and elves. Quality sound design is key for any good television show, but “The Witcher” and its music are inextricably linked.

The series features more than a few tavern scenes and dancing sequences, which all required finished music to allow actors to choreograph their movements. Though scoring traditionally occurs late in a show’s production, the musical nature of “The Witcher” required the composers to finish their work well in advance, according to Belousova.

“The Witcher” also has a series bard named Jaskier, who crafts musical tales about Geralt’s adventures within the show itself. IndieWire premiered “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher,” Jaskier’s first tune, earlier this month. The series’ bars, grisly battlefields, and lavish parties also necessitated a variety of background music, and Ostinelli noted that many background actors visibly perform some of the series’ music throughout each episode.

“The show also has things like tavern music, which we wrote,” Ostinelli said. “There are things like fiddles and we thought it would be cool to have fiddle players playing arrangements of those songs.”

“The Witcher” marks the latest collaboration between Belousova and Ostinelli, who have worked together on several other television shows, including “The Romanoffs,” “The Mist,” and the film “M.F.A.” The Los Angeles-based composers met one another several years ago and found that their differing musical backgrounds allowed them to play off each other’s strengths, regardless of the project, according to Belousova.

Penman’s Opinion: There is nothing perfect except the scores. The Witcher has its share of sex as well, as Geralt is a known frequenter of brothels and Yennefer is none too shy about her own sexual tastes, so be aware you will see many a naked body. If you’re looking for an original dark fantasy with some horror elements, some bare skin, and plenty of blood and gore look no further. The Witcher, I am quite sure, is destined to surprise and delight.

CS(Cineples Score): 6/10


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