4 February 2011

Ally's Review: The Wicker Man

It was my choice this week and I selected The Wicker Man. I’ve always really loved this film and after Clarky had divulged his deepest shame last week – he’d seen the Nicolas Cage version and not the original – my choice was obvious.

I almost feel like reviewing my experience of watching this film when I first saw it at 17, because the impact is so different. Because it’s such an iconic movie, the power of the final moments does not have the same gravitas as it once did. Having said it, it remains such an iconic moment for good reason. Sgt. Howie belting out the hymn ‘The Lord’s my Shepherd’ still sends a shiver down the spine. The way the movie leads to the final scene is truly original and unexpected.

Sgt. Howie (played by the late Edward Woodward) is irritated and disgusted by the locals from the very beginning and never seems to grasp the danger he is surrounded by. The acting by Woodward is wonderful, he plays Howie to perfection, right to the bitter end. Christopher Lee is also in terrific form as Lord Summerisle, playing the part with an understated ghoulishness.

Summerisle is one place I would swim the North Sea to get away from. The strange rituals and odd behaviours give the viewer plenty of laughs, whilst also shocking and disgusting at the same time. This film was solely responsible for my reluctance to the leave the central belt of Scotland until recently. Clarky finally persuaded me to join him in North Uist last year, but I was very wary to watch out for signs of similar behaviours found on Summerisle. To my relief, we all survived and were not sacrificed.

It’s by no means a scary movie but anyone who hasn’t seen it should make amends, because it is one of the most important British movies for good reason. An enjoyable/unsettling movie that still has the power to shock first time viewers.

Highly recommended.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.