Night Watch is a pretty complex film which can be hard to breakdown. The film basically all comes back to a legend where the Light and the Dark have an epic fight where a person called the Other calls a truce. The Light and Dark have to follow certain rules to keep both sides in check. The Dark monitors the Light during the day which is called Day Watch and the Light monitors the Dark during the night which is called Night Watch. The people who are considered the Others are part of this supernatural world and can choose a side to help out because the Others have gifts like shapeshifting. Also, the Dark side are vampires and the Light side are hunters.
The main character we follow throughout the movie is called Anton. He discovers he is an Other when he tries to have a witch bring his ex-wife back to him. Anton decides to join the Light side and has the power to see the future. The major theme in this movie has to deal with what is morally right and wrong. Anton seems to want to redeem himself from what he asked the witch to do. If the witch were successful in bringing back Anton’s wife, the witch would have had to kill the wife’s unborn kid. So, Anton tries to save people from vampires/the Dark side in order to be a better person. The person we see Anton saving is a child called Yegor. This kid ends up being the same child that Anton was willing to kill in the beginning. Also, Yegor is Anton’s actual son. In the end, Yegor calls out Anton for not really being someone who is good or deserving of being part of the Light. Yegor calls him a liar. Anton can never repair his wrong doing, even if he spends the rest of his life being good. Which actually makes him an other, someone who doesn’t fit in the light or dark category.
A way the Night Watch appealed to classic vampire stories was how Anton has to fight off vampires by using light. This technique is similar to other vampire stories where vampires burn in sunlight. Although, sunlight doesn’t usually kill off other vampires. For example, Dracula is killed by being stabbed in the heart.
Night Watch (2004) film
Bram Stoker’s Dracula book
Links to other Night Watch stuff:
Where to buy Night Watch and its sequel: Day Watch
Night Watch main movie art:
IMDb FAQ for Night Watch
Fandom and Folklore Edit
The idea of good and evil fighting it out only to end with both sides finding an unsteady truce is not a new iteration on the well told story of good versus evil such as in Bram Stoker's Dracula . Neither is seeing vampires and werewolf’s acting as the “good guys” a revolutionary, earth shattering perspective. But seeing the fight between good and evil handled like it was a speeding ticket, bureaucratic and with the emotionless, dingy and boring routine that only law could paint, is new. The fight for good and evil is at its heart made within the realm of supernatural and fantastical, right alongside the use of magic, visions of the future, being invisible, or even determining the fate of the world. All things that are so beyond the imaginings of the traditional life of a human, making such struggles, despite there horror and severity, seem glamorous and in a way desirable. To see the struggle of the both forces coming to a truce and having to create what are, in essence, a “dedicated police force” complete with paperwork, little to no pay, unstable views of morality and a drunk, emotionally stunted main character removes the glamour. This is where Night Watch breaks from the tradition of making the battle of folklore monsters fantastical. This breaking of traditional storytelling telling methodology fits nicely with the fundamental ideas of fandom story telling the This depiction of vampirism and folklore creatures as little more than those whose job it is to make sure the other side stays in line, is a retelling of the original fables, such as an number of Russian Fairytales as conceived by fandom. Typically, good and evil are two sides of the same coin and must be kept in balance. This trope is told in a usual method that makes the fight seem intense and brutal but still with its allure of riches, high society, at the least, amazing powers and ability’s that make one special and stand out from the ravel of humans. With Night Watch, the characters are all grimy, set tones within the movie that make it seem like everything that is happening is just another day on the job save for a particularly bad incident (really no different than a crime show with an especially brutal killer on the loose). This tone is used to give the appearance that being a mythical creature is more of a problem and a hassle then anything that being a human could dish out. The only time we see the main character as a human, he is clean cut and dressed nicely. After his encounter with the witch he his is a mess and an undependable part of his team. Nothing wonderful or fable like in this world.
Also, breaking from the traditions of folklore, in that the good guys triumph over evil, this movie ends with the main character helping the dark side (which is never truly depicted as evil doing or bad) to win control over the fate of the world. Common idea within fandom is the “what if” thinking. What would happen is this character failed to be the good person? This interest is seen here in the break from tradition and letting the evil side win. A side of storytelling that only a fan would think of.Reference
- ↑ https://arizona.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Auth/Login.aspx?Auth=Viewer&ReturnUrl=%2fPanopto%2fPages%2fViewer.aspx%3fid%3d65bbe760-33bf-48e2-94eb-3d87a119f7a6
- ↑ http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html
- ↑ https://d2l.arizona.edu/d2l/le/content/563364/viewContent/4841300/View
Anton Godoretsky - [Gorodetsky] is the main character in this film. He travels to a witch named Daria and ask her if she can bring his ex-wife back, although it would kill their unborn child. The follwoing altercation with two mysterious figuers that flash into the room reveals that Anton is an Other. Once he learns of this, Anton joins the light and becomes a member of the [Watch]. While saving a young boy named Yegor, he kills a member of the Dark, and soon the entire Dark side is alerted of what has happened. This boy turn out to be the son of Anton, the one who would have been killed had the spell been successful. Once Yegor learn of this, he begins to hate Anton with a rage that can never be forgiven. Anton's own selfishness got in the way of what he truly wanted in the end. Although he understands his son's anger, he wishes he could go back to fix their relationship.
Yegor - [] is the eventual son of Anton. In the prophecy, it is revealed that Yegor has power given by the Great One, which yields more power that the Others. This prophecy is read following the knowledge of Anton trying to kill his unborn son. Yegor is angered by this and chooses to follow the dark side, oppisite of his father. His anger has grown so great that the dark side is the only option for him. In the beginning of the film Yegor is not depicted as a powerful being. In fact, he is portrayed as a weak boy to the point where Anton has to save his life. The journey Yegor goes through is own of maturity and growth. He starts very scared of the worls and vulnerable, and eventually learns that he is more powerful than most beings on Earth.