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Marvel's Black Widow Review - More of the Same

If today's cinema world was a closet and you pull something out of it, you'd find yourself a superhero costume 70 percent of the times. Marvel's Black Widow is just another pretty looking and flashy costume, with little to no design modifications. Nonetheless, its an entertaining film and here's our verdict.  Film  – Marvel's Black Widow (2021) Duration  – 2h 14 m Director  – Cate Shortland Main Cast - Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour Rating  – 3 / 5 (It's a spoiler-free review) Black Widow acts as a fitting tribute to MCU's fan-favorite character but at the same time it is just more of the same stuff we see in a superhero flick. For one thing this film is about 5 years too late and for another, it doesn't really do anything for Black Widow's character or MCU as a whole. In my opinion it was just a cheap trick to encash the fans' emotions after losing her in Avengers: Endgame. Well, its not a bad film

Must Watch Alert! The Witcher S01 sets the stage for something EPIC!

Netflix now has two Game of Thrones like properties namely The Last Kingdom and its latest attempt The Witcher and surprisingly both of them are British. To check out the latest trailer for The Witcher click below ⬇️

Series - Netflix' The Witcher Season 1 (2019)

Episodes - 8

Program Creator -  Lauren Schmidt Hissrich

Cast - Henry Cavill, Freya Allen, Anya Chalotra, Jodhi May, Adam Levy and Joey Batey

Rating - 4 / 5

Best Episodes - 3rd Betrayer Moon and 7th Before a Fall

Netflix' The Witcher, which people expected to be the next Game of Thrones turned out to be something else entirely for fans and non - fans alike. Though it is quite a faithful adaptation of the best selling novel series penned down by Andrzej Sapkowski, it takes a few creative liberties which, in my opinion, were appropriate for the cinematic version. But one of the major problems viewers, who haven't read the books, may tackle is its confusing and non-linear narrative. The timeline is pretty messed up, yet it keeps the viewers engaged and soon all the complications in the narrative start getting simplified as the story moves forward.

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Yup, we were as confused as you are Geralt! (Image: © Netflix)

The Witcher introduced many important characters in its season 1 who will have a larger role in the upcoming seasons but it mainly revolves around Henry Cavil's Geralt of Rivia aka The Witcher, Freya Allen's Princess Cirilla and Anya Chalotra's Yeneffer of Vengerberg. 

Out of all these, Geralt's arc was simply the best of season 1 as his monster hunting adventures and the never seen before kind of character he is, keeps the viewers invested. Geralt is sort of an anti-hero who kills monsters for money but is often trapped between the concept of good and evil. Though he delivers that iconic line - Evil is Evil, still he finds himself in a kind of dilemma throughout season 1. Geralt's character grows a lot in this season - from being called The Butcher of Blaviken to The White Wolf, from ignoring the concept of destiny to embracing it and from being a loner to having some people he cares about. Apart from all the action and badass attitude, what makes his arc even more enjoyable is the fact that he is accompanied by the funny and gifted bard Jaskier (Dandelion) portrayed brilliantly by Joey Batey.

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Anya Chalotra's Yeneffer is another very important lead character of the Witcher Saga. This season showcased her backstory which isn't that detailed in the books but Netflix surely made a sensible and almost appropriate Yeneffer narrative. But that came at the expense of giving less screen time to the "Edge of the World" storyline hence making Episode 2 just okaish and one of the weakest episodes of the season. Overall Yeneffer's character was fine but could have been better with even more magic and spells. Her dark Hogwarts like training was cool but still disappointing because again - not enough magic and spells. Let's hope we see a lot more of it as we move forward and Yen's role increases. 

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(Image: © Netflix)

Then comes the entire Ciri's narrative which is probably the weakest among the three. Though the Cintran narrative is nothing short of incredible including Pavetta and Duny romance, Law of Surprise, Battle for Cintra, Fall of Cintra and everytime Queen Calanthe was on screen! But Ciri's arc in this season lacks that interest building capability and falls bland. This is mostly because Netflix didn't stick to the books where Ciri was introduced in the second last chapter of the Swords of Destiny (2nd book) and therefore she didn't have much to do in this season. Her arc could have easily been wrapped up in two episodes max but again, you sometimes have to change a narrative while translating stuff from books to screen. Therefore, we can be a bit lenient to Netflix as this season was pure world building and things are about to get crazy from the next one! Well, at least we hope so...

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(Image: © Netflix)

Talking about the performances, I'd say Henry Cavill absolutely nailed it as Geralt of Rivia! His voice, his stunts, his intensity, his costume, his body, everything was absolutely perfect. Everytime Henry Cavill's Geralt was on screen, Netflix' The Witcher was at its pinnacle! Jodhi May (Queen Calanthe) as I mentioned above, was another powerful performance this season. Anya Chalotra and Freya Allen didn't have that much to do this season but they seem like the perfect cast choices as well. Joey Batney's Jaskier is absolutely as he is supposed to be, irritating yet funny. Rest of the cast did a great job as well and I can't find a single bad casting choice. 

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Joey Batney as Dandelion/Jaskier (Image: © Netflix)

Coming on to techincalities, I was highly impressed by the beautiful cinematography and dark yet Witcher-like color grading. The visual effects of the show were nothing short of brilliant and the CGI was insanely good and all the monster looked as they should except the dragon (Villentretenmerth) which was supposed to be beautiful but had a very ugly and poor design. The sound design was also good but not as mind-blowing as it was expected to be since the games had pretty awesome sound design. Also, how can I forget that fans were robbed of an opening theme! Why Netflix? Why would you do that? But yeah, apart from not having an opening theme, The Witcher is nothing short of a techincal masterpiece.

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(Image: © Netflix)

In this last section I would like to highlight one spellbounding thing about The Witcher and one grave issue. Let's begin with the issue first which is too much nudity. The Witcher probably has the most nudity ever seen in a series, especially female nudity. Its understandable that it brings a lot more views but everything should have limits and when it comes to unnecessary female nudity, it seems like The Witcher has none! I hope this improves in the upcoming seasons just like it did with Game of Thrones. 

Coming to that spellbounding thing that is the insane fight choreography and swordsmanship. The Witcher has, debatably, the best action ever seen on the silver screen and it has the ability to make even the heavy hitters like Lord of the Rings, Vikings, and Game of Thrones kneel down. Henry Cavill has learned some deft fight moves and I would get worried if I ever encounter him in real life.

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(Image: © Netflix)

Final verdict - The Witcher is a must watch for all period drama or fantasy lovers out there. It technicalities and Sapkowski's Witcher world in itself make it a worth watch for any cinema lover as it has something for everyone. 

Witcher Universe fans who have already seen it, you have a long wait ahead till season 2, so check out the following recommendations:

Or just simply read the books if you haven't!


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