Sunday, April 10

Black Death Review

Black Death

It’s always interesting to me to when a film examines faith and asks questions of faith, personal or otherwise. That’s the quality that Black Death utilizes. It’s not an overwhelmingly daring film that will change the way we think of period piece, sword and armor films, instead it presents an interesting plot that at times feels like the audience is being asked the questions instead of the characters in the film. What answers would you give?

Black Death starts with a monk that has fallen in love with a woman during the outbreak of the black plague. They are planning on escaping the plagued village in order to be together, but the monk feels he has a continued obligation to God to stay in the village, so she leaves him with an ultimatum to find her. Enter a group of ravaged men that are looking for an escort that will venture with them into the evils of the countryside in order to find a necromancer. The monk volunteers thinking that he can use this venture as a way to reconnect with his woman. Without giving too much away, because I am recommending this film, they find the village with the necromancer and are forced to make some very difficult moral decisions that could lead them to very gruesome consequences.

The film establishes a nice atmosphere and the characters are especially interesting, each has their own story concerning their motivation about the journey. Sean Bean is in this film, as well as every other sword and armor film it seems, as the fearless leader of the group. Some might be tired of seeing him in this sort of role, but you can’t deny that he is really good at playing these tormented, medieval characters. One of my main complaints with this film is some of the technical aspects; the fight cinematography is hand-held, shaky cam that becomes rather difficult on the eyes. Also, the score could have been punched up a bit near the end, you don’t quit get the overall dread from the music. However, that is a compliment to the acting because the final thirty minutes are engrossing nonetheless. This film plays on the aspects of religion in an interesting way, especially from a historical point of view, and examines the effect of living in a world corrupted, both by those fighting for good and those utilizing evil, and how you cannot help but be changed by them both.

Monte’s Rating….3.75 out of 5.

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