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English Screenplay Adaptation by TIMUR BEKMAMBETOV and 
Based on the Novel by SERGEI LUKYANENKO
Director of Photography SERGEI TROFIMOV


main actors


Anton Gorodetsky.. Konstantin KHABENSKY
Geser.................................  Vladimir MENSHOV
Kostya's father...........  Valery ZOLOTUKHIN
Svetlana...................           .Maria POROSHINA
Olga.............................                .Galina TUNINA
Kostya...............................         Alexei CHADOV
Alice ...................................          Zhanna FRISKE
Andrei................................       Ilia LAGUTENKO
Zavulon ....................      V ictor VERZHBITSKY
Daria ........................             Rimma MARKOVA
Irina.........................               Maria MIRONOVA
Simeon........................           Alexei MAKLAKOV
Bear ................           Alexander SAMOILENKO
Yegor ........................              Dima MARTYNOV
Tiger Cub.....................................          Anna SLIU
Larissa...............             Anna DUBROVSKAYA


night watch                



  A TABBAK Film , a BAZELEVS Production


In theatres in Switzerland on 29 September 


preview-review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____   





Fantasy meets reality

In Russia Nochnoi Dozor, Night Watch (based on the homonymous novel by Sergei Lukyanenko and the first opus of a trilogy),  has been a phenomenon pulverizing all box-office records. I must say there is a reason for that. A very simple reason: this movie is fucking entertaining and new. 

 “Unlike in America, there were no fantasy movies shot in Russia before this one,” the director points out. “But in reading the book, I suddenly realized Sergei had managed to distill magic and miracles, the transcendent and the supernatural, into our way of life. I found that the story really was something special because in it, fantasy not only meets reality – but Russian reality — and it’s the first Russian movie that has this unique point of view. The story takes place in the real world, in real Russian life, but it’s also fantastical"

Finally the iconic characters of the so called Forces of Evil and Forces of Good are realistic, without pretention of improbable beauty and flair. A warrior of Light could be even the woman or the man next door, and the same is for a warrior of Darkness. With the exception of the character Alyssa belonging (Zhanna Friske) to the Day Watch, there are no artificial, aristocratic and arrogant guys. The servants of Light and those of Darkness have their problems like everyone. Nonetheless nothing is lost concerning thrilling, mythology, apocalyptic scenarios, prophecies, magic. And not only, the superstar is, at the end of the story, the town Moscow, a metropolis that appears so modern, up to the European (and maybe American) standards, yet always so mystical, full of fears and ambush. There in the East where suggestion, religion, occultism,  the atmospheres of the past centuries and the modern pragmatism make, all together, a killer cocktail, this story is  near to us and so fantastic at the same time. This is the reason why, though a couple of really unbelievable and exaggerated sequences, your attention will be strong captured from the first to the last frame, with the help of a fast, breathtaking pace. Humorous lines, active sequences, dynamic photography accompany us in this fight of the "Others". Starting from the concept that human beings are not all the same, some of them being in reality "Others" because they have special almost supernatural abilities, the eternal fight between the two sides is presented here straight forward with all the problems, with all the compromises and all the miserable or heroic moments that such a war brings with itself.

For director Bekmambetov, Night Watch and their opposite Day Watch represent two competing social philosophies.  “They represent two different ways to live – total freedom versus responsibility,” he comments.  “The Day Watch are the Dark Ones and they represent a kind of totally free independence, but the Night Watchers are all about responsibility and conscience.  It’s a dualism that’s existed for a thousand years. It’s a very old idea that you must consider the consequences of your actions.”

Please find the borderline between Light and Dark, between Good and Evil, simply there isn't. This is the message of Nochnoi Dozor, fortunately presented not in rhetoric way. Good should protect mankind against the evil soldiers? But not always things are so simple. Every person is free to choose, every Other is free to choose: Evil and Good are only  what we presume we are,  what we'd love to be, what we' d love to choose. 

We follow the fight in Moscow between the implacable Night Watch head Boris Geser (Vladimir Menshov) and the Day Watch leader Zavulon (Viktor Verzhbitsky) supported by  their "armies" of reciprocal annihilation. The fight between Geser and Zavulon began many centuries ago in full middle age. But in order to prevent the reciprocal destruction , the two leaders made a pact: every human being must  be free to choose between Dark and Light,  and actions of the warriors need the consent of both sides. The reciprocal control is done through Watchers: the warriors of the Dark are the Day Watch  and "guard" against the warriors of Light. The counterpart indeed is called Night Watch, which  consists of  the warriors of Light , who guard against the "evil" side. But an ancient prophecy says that one day a "Great One" will come, mightier than all Others. The side he will choose will mark the destiny of mankind,  the balance will be broken. The fulfilling of this prophecy intertwines with the related prophecy of the Virgin, with alarming signs, with spectacular hunts and shape shifting. All this is kept secret and even invisible to normal humans, like a fight between true espionage agents, . To awaken these abilities and realize you  are a Other, an occasion is needed . It was so  for Anton too, more or less 12 years ago. Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), wonderful protagonist of the movie, after having being implicated in a sad story of witchcraft and abortion attempt, makes acquaintance of the Night Watch , understands his ability, and becomes a secret agent of the Warriors of Light. Now, in the Moscow of 2004 he's hunting a vampire who is not authorized to take victims. For a member of Night Watch there is only one way to catch a vampire: to reason like a vampire, and to drink blood, in this case, pig's blood. And from now on he will fall down relentlessly in the dangerous , almost deadly vortex of the events in which both sides struggle in a carousel of hate and help.

There is much blood running in this movie, but no empty gore; there is obviously much action, and a jewel of a scene: the crown goes to the shape transformation of Anton's partner Olga (Galina Tyunina) from owl to woman. 


Through this movie, Darkness Light and Gloom receive new contours. In the wake of Constantine, this film could be a Hollywood one, or even better. We are far from bombastic silly grandeur, the film got a low budget indeed, but thanks to excellent capacity of  actors, director and the whole crew , Night Watch is a very good production that makes understand how much brilliant the post -Sovietic Russian panorama can be.
I suggest this movie to my metal readers!: you will like it 100%, even forgiving that whirlwind over Moscow and the huge number of crows. And if some of you shouldn't find this movie ok, it will be anyway very interesting to discuss with friends about Nochnoi Dozor, its symbolism, its way to present fantasy. The thematic is the right one, the pounding music isalmost satisfactory and suitable for us, these soldiers,  at times worried, at times dirty, wounded, tired and hungry are so exquisite. So poor and underground and glorious. 

“It woke me up because I started to think about how you could connect these things: Red Square and vampires, vampires and the Russian ballet, etcetera.  It was such an interesting mix and I found that it produced in me a very personal feeling because one half of me is the filmmaker who loves vampires, Roger Corman and THE MATRIX. Meanwhile, the other half of my mentality is a Russian reality where there are lots of problems – where there are very bad cars, very dirty houses, very rich oil barons and very poor people.  This story brought these two sides of me together: Russian reality and American movies.”  
Timur Bekmambetov  

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