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Review: The Witches

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By Halloween, the remake of the film The Witches with Anne Hathaway in the role of an evil witch who hates children was released. The fantastic story was directed by Robert Zemeckis, who gave us the film trilogy Back to the Future. And among the producers of the new film were Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuaron. It is quite surprising that even they do not fully manage to transform the absurd plot into screen magic.

The plot of the story of witches who turn children into mice, appeared thanks to the writer Roald Dahl (the author of the fairy tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). The book became a classic of children’s British literature, and in the 1990s a film was based on it with Anjelica Houston starring in the movie. In those days, for the film make-up artists for six hours working on the transformation of Houston into a humpback bald witch, and toy mice in the frame were led by puppeteers.

In 2008, rumors emerged that Guillermo del Toro was interested in his own adaptation of the book in the format of puppet animation. After that, there was no news on the part of the director, ten years later it turned out that the idea of the new movie was still in force, but the plans for it have changed somewhat. First, Guillermo del Toro became a producer, joining forces with Alfonso Cuaron, and personally had a hand in the creation of the script. Secondly, the director of the project was appointed Robert Zemeckis, who instead of dolls were involved actors and computer graphics.

By the way, Robert Zemeckis also participated in the writing of the script. However, there are several notable adjustments in its remake. Thus, the action of the new film takes place in the South of the United States, and the main characters are black Americans (in the original, events took place in England and Norway).

The cultural impact of the movie

If we take a look at the original it was really one of the most compelling ones in the horror genre. Witches in general are always very interesting when it comes to horror movies. They are basically like symbols of horror cinema. It should be mentioned that the impact of the movies was really noteworthy. The gambling industry, for example, was one of the first ones to feel the impact and a lot of casino game developers as EGT, Microgaming and NetEnt started offering free slot games as Witches Charm, Witches Wealth and Wild Witches to its customers, where unusual witches were depicted as the main characters and symbols.

Analysis

So, The Witches took the audience in 1968. The main character loses her parents in a car accident and moves to live with her grandmother (Octavia Spencer). She encourages her grandson in every way, returning the boy’s interest in everyday details. When life begins to improve, the hero meets a suspicious woman in closed clothes, who persistently offers the child candy.

After the incident, the grandmother quite unexpectedly shows herself a connoisseur of witchcraft affairs and asks his grandson to beware of witches. It turns out that witches not only live next to people but also carefully mask their unsightly appearance. And worst of all, they hate children, dreaming of turning them into animals.

The filmmakers openly do not raise the problem of race relations of the period (the film is still aimed at the children’s audience), but only hint about it through Octavia Spencer’s heroine, who voices the adapted background of the story from the screenwriters. Spencer, by the way, successfully takes on the role of a caring grandmother.

Then the film gains a witchy turn, paying attention to the description of the ugly appearance of witches and how they manage to hide their essence from this world. The transformation is emphasized by the viewers of the film.. Hathaway walks in sharp-nosed shoes and scratches his head under a lush wig, uttering angry speeches. All the charm of her efforts we do not hear because of dubbing, in which the original actress speaks with an accent, stretching English words. Anne Hathaway’s acting is complemented by computer graphics, thanks to which the Supreme Witch of the World has a smile to her ears, reminiscent of the eerie version of the Cheshire Cat.

With the help of computer graphics appear mice that actively participate in the events of the film. Naturally, for young viewers, they will be more interesting than toy rodents from the old ribbon. Also, computer graphics have replaced most of the scenery, so that the new film shows the exquisite interiors of the hotel.

All together sometimes can not drown out a certain absurdity of the plot, even taking into account that before us unfolds a very magical story. Perhaps it is in the original book, where a bunch of witches outraged children, and one grandmother was very much heard about their temples. However, this inconsistency of moments manages to make magic thanks to the music of composer Alan Silvestri (wrote the soundtrack for the films Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, The Avengers).

As strange as the new film The Witches is, it is by far the most spectacular thing to see in cinemas. In the U.S., by the way, the film at the end of October appeared on HBO Max, we have the opportunity to see it on the big screens.

It should be noted that there was some outrage over people with disabilities, and the movie makers apologized for that.

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