Author Topic: The Witch  (Read 5901 times)

Junior

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2016, 01:28:01 PM »
I think you're right in about the original sin thing which is why I think the ending works perfectly as she rejects that paradigm and rises (literally) above it.
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oldkid

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2016, 10:47:11 PM »
From a religious point of view, this family was screwed up.  I mean, obviously, but there was a good reason the Puritans banished them.  The father considered the puritans too lax, that they cut too many corners, so he got kicked out, because he wouldn't shut up.  And instead of going to "liberal" Rhode Island, he opted to take his family separated, where Puritans feared to go.

As much as this guys seemed to care for his kids, in the end he was willing to blame innocents for his own fault.  Which is the ultimate sin of "scruples" as the Catholics name it-- the sin of condemning things that are innocent.   In a sense, this is a moral film which displays the results of fanaticism, of being "too" religious.  But it does it honestly.  Instead of condemning all religion (even all Puritan religion, which is an easy target), this film focuses on the father who destroyed his family by separating from community because he judged too much.

Although fundamentalists deny it, the major sin of the Bible is judging others. From Adam and Eve who condemned themselves for being naked (which was never an issue with God) to Jesus and Paul who condemned condemnation, the main issue of "god-fearing" humanity isn't not being pure enough, but demanding that others be more pure than they are.  It's easy to see that outside of religion, but hard to keep track of inside it.

How I loved this film.  The language is exquisite and it was perfect for me, who's familiar with the King James.  It really feels like we're being dropped into the 17th century, and that is just wonderful.
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gonnawatchit

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2016, 01:19:53 AM »
Watched this a few weeks ago, and didn't connect with it.  Sort of like "Son of Saul," I could recognize the things it was doing that other people were swooning over, I saw the choices and the craft, but just felt outside of it somehow.

Also, is an allegorical reading necessary?  Did you guys feel like there were clear and obvious clues that lead to that reading?  It seems to me that, while there's plenty of ambiguity about what's actually happening, the cleanest, simplest and most straightforward reading was that it was about a witch.
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oldkid

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2016, 09:49:22 AM »
I didn't read it allegorically. In fact, it felt very much like a folk tale of it's time, a cautionary tale.
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Re: The Witch
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2016, 12:04:28 AM »
Though this is certainly a half-baked, and perhaps ridiculous, thought... Did anyone else see this as a sort of superhero origin story?

Every superhero origin story we've seen from the past however many years is titled based on what the protagonist becomes, and how other characters identify them, by the end: Peter Parker becomes Spiderman in Spiderman; Bruce Wayne becomes Batman in Batman Begins; and Thomasin becomes a witch in The Witch. Though I doubt this gets a sequel (in fact, I pray to the Puritan God that it doesn't, as I don't even know what it would be), the ending certainly offers the opportunity for the story to continue, as is the case with the superhero films. She's joined the coven, and, based on her facial expression, has come to find some type of enlightenment (and maybe happiness? joy?) as she rises above the fire with the other naked women. I didn't believe Thomasin to be a witch when the film started, and didn't look back after it ended to realize she'd been one the entire time (it's not a twist film); rather, it seemed the Lead Witch/creepy old woman/Black Phillip (who seduces Caleb and then startles the children when they have to sleep in the shed) acts as a gateway into this world of becoming a witch, as if she's sparing Thomasin for this life as a witch. In that way, Thomasin shares another trait with the aforementioned superheroes--she loses family members, just as Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne do, for example.

I dunno, though. This really is a half-baked thought.

gonnawatchit

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2016, 12:27:08 AM »
Well, I guess if you're talking about the kind of superhero that kills babies and molests young boys...  :o
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keith71_98

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2016, 09:25:59 AM »
My reading was slightly closer to Josh's. I feel the family has a deep and earnest faith. But it is their rigid adherence to the faith that opens them up to the evil's influence. They miss out on any resemblance of joy due to the burdens of their legalism. In fact it seems it was that same rigidity that took them from the protective walls of the colony. One by one each show signs of cracking until finally they are overtaken.
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Princess Kaguya

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2016, 01:36:59 PM »
Well, I guess if you're talking about the kind of superhero that kills babies and molests young boys...  :o

Then maybe a super villain origin story? But did she kill a baby or molest a young boy? I mean, The Witch did, but not Thomasin. Maybe she'll use her witch powers for good. Like Kiki.

dassix

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2016, 07:43:03 PM »
I'm cheating by reading this thread on a movie I plan on watching Friday evening with the wife.  I am truly excited by this movie.  It might not have some hidden gems of truth that are fleshed out as the plot moves along, but it seems to be original enough and in a genre that hasn't had a good movie in a while.

1SO

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Re: The Witch
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2016, 09:40:33 PM »
The article I wanted to link to and talk about.

Peek-A-Boo: masterful, and the start of what would be a controversial decision for some. The baby disappearing is beautifully edited. We see it on Thomasin's face, waiting for the cut until we know why she looks so grave. Watching it a 2nd time, you can see why this family is going to blame her for this. She was having a moment of fun that involved taking her eyes off the child for the briefest of moments. It's an innocent moment that will be the tipping point of this family.

The controversial decision it to then show what happened. In shadowy but searing detail any thought that the witch might be paranoid fantasy is removed. I think it's more interesting to remove the ambiguity and let us know the threat is real.


I'll get to more later, but wanted to bring up a moment I kept re-watching that isn't mentioned in the article.

Thomasin and Caleb are down by the river. She comforts him and then playful bites him on the head before tickling him. He returns the tickle, but his body is blocking so we can't see where his hands actually are. She reacts like he's touching her chest, but it's very brief and his arms look to be closer to her armpits. In mid-reaction there's an edit. Their positions have shifted - a jump cut - and they realize Mercy is watching them. Add this to the moment when Caleb was definitely looking at his developing sister and it cements the implication of feeling of incest. (They're so isolated from the world, they can only look to each other for pleasure.) What I can't figure out is, is the jump cut a flawed match cut or is there a genuine bit of time missing? Is it possible there was more that happened between the brother and sister before realizing they were being watched. After the edit, Thomasin no longer looks put off by her brother, but oddly calm again.