Nochnoy Dozor (2004)

This very original film presents a breathtaking look at the struggle between good and evil. Since it was Russian-made, even if it were filled with Russian cliché, we wouldn't know - how many Russian movies have you seen?

Stylistically, it's in a league of its own, like Sin City, Trainspotting, and Fight Club. The characters aren't super gorgeous. It's not full of one-liners. The visual effects are superb -right down to the subtitles which melt, fade into the background, are really big when there's shouting...

The over arching theme is the struggle to choose between good and evil. Night Watch offers angles of this theme that are often overlooked by films of the west. One aspect that I really appreciated was the idea that when we choose to sin, it's often with little regard for it's consequence, but those consequences help us repent and there is no honest way of denying that we did want to sin. Choice plays prominently against the idea of destiny and conditioning.

As some of the characters are vampires, blood and its importance in life and feeding evil is interesting as it unfolds. You find yourself sympathizing with both sides of the conflict, thought film is definitely promoting the side of Light. I think it succeeds in both of these.

The 2 minute introduction to the film really leaves much of the backdrop obscured, leaving you trying to piece together the whole world of Light and Darkness as you watch. The characters are very colourful and unique too.

I really appreciated the gritty and graphic portrayal of both sides: current humanistic versions of angels and demons. Though I may not agree with all their conclusions, the philosophies are very succinct and good ideas to ponder. The action is great to watch too.

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