Sunday, 23 April 2017

"The Wicker Man" review

   Film "The Wicker Man" became a debut of nobody known before, English director Robin Hardy. Inspired by David Pinner's novel "Ritual", screenwriter Anthony Shaffer helped the director and wrote the script for "The Wicker Man".
   This classic English detective story instantly becomes very addictive. The main protagonist, police inspector, Sergeant Neil Howie, has to question people, guess, reason, suspect, speculate rather than just finding clues right in the middle of the road, thanks to an endlessly lucky coincidence.
Philip Coppens is correct when he states that „The pagan details are what made the movie an underground favourite.” The viewer, who is more familiar with pagan culture and customs, will be amazed how detailed the paganism is described (written) in "The Wicker Man" : rituals, songs, items etc. This picture is made relatively realistically; it has mesmerizing music, which seems like it is coming from the depths of centuries. Old folk songs, original ballads of musician and playwright Paul Giovanni are performed by rural men with cigarettes in their teeth. In this extraordinary picture, there are a lot of songs that perfectly convey the atmosphere of paganism. Vladimir Gordeev(2008) point out that „Scriptwriter Shaffer carefully studied pagan and neopagan rituals, the history of pantheistic cults, primarily Celtic.”
Figure 1. Pagan ritual(2015)

It seems almost impossible not to recognize the pagan islanders–in their rejection of status quo norms, their embrace of sexual freedom, and their search for more ancient and mystical alternatives to the moralistic religion of their fathers—as stand-ins for the 1960s hippie counterculture [...]” (Smalley G. J., 2009) After all, the film was made at years when the hippie culture was still flourishing.
   This picture is not simple at all, it offers the audience an exciting game, tempts(seduces) them in the same way that the daughter of the innkeeper Willow seduces Sergeant Howie, who arrived in this secluded county in western Scotland, to deal with the case of the disappearance of the local girl.(see fig.2) Being a churched Christian, Howie was very shocked. All his investigation, which took two days, is accompanied by shocking discoveries. Howie gives the impression of a very good man, who does not betray his faith and principles. Such character evokes sympathy.
Figure 2. Willow seduces Sergeant Howie through the wall(2013)

   First, the director awakens in the viewer their primitive feelings, the rejection of rules and morals, a return to the roots. However, over time, the viewer realizes how wild and immoral everything that is happening in the film is, and towards the end of the film the viewer is disgusted with all those involved in the ritual. Throughout the entire movie, a struggle of consciousness and the unconscious is happening inside the viewer.

   At first, the film was not successful and few knew about it. However, gradually "The Wicker Man" began to earn popularity and admirers, in 1979 it received the award as the best horror film from the "Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror." In 2006, a remake of the film was made in the United States, which was also called "The Wicker Man"(see fig. 3) and this became the best evidence that the original is a picture worthy of your attention.
Figure 3. Poster of American remake "The Wicker Man"(2006)

1. Coppens, P.  "The Wicker Man: the Return of the Pagan World (1973 edition)" At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017) 
2. Gordeev, V. (2008) "Рецензия на фильм "Плетеный человек""[In Russian]""The Wicker Man" review" Translated by Anastasija Strelcova At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017) 
3. Smalley G. J. (2009) "21. THE WICKER MAN (1973)" At: (Accessed on 23 April 2017) 

1. Figure 1.(2011)[Film Still], accessed on 23 April 2017.
2. Figure 2. Martyn Conterio(2013)[Film Still], accessed on 23 April 2017.
3. Figure 3.(2006)[Film Poster], accessed on 23 April 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment