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I like the idea to make a movie about baltic tribes during crusades. There are a lot of interesting traditions and events to explore.
I can feel that The Pagan King wants to be a movie that will introduce the world with Baltic culture and land of Semigallia. However, they put too much accent on showing traditions instead of focusing on characters or plot. The best example is wedding scene. This scene gives us 0 new information about characters. They love each other- we already know it, but what else? We learned how pagan weddings looked like. Well... ok.
Characters are living stereotypes. Bad guy wants to rule this land just because he's bad. Good guys doesn't want to allow him, because he's good. First half of the movie tries to rush all the action without actually introducing us to the characters and as a result there is lack of connection between character and viewer.
Plausibility. I can't believe in this world and actions. Movie budget wasn't great and this fact affected overall movie quality. There are few locations: village, swamp, castle and few more. Village, which is one of the most important locations looks really small and artificial as well as crusader ship- it simply cannot transport so many crusaders.
Visual part of the movie is great. Camera angles and views are well chosen and gives me a feeling of high quality work, especially during fighting scenes. Fight on the sand beach is amazing. Sand and blood is an amazing combination, wish there would be more of that. There are a lot of dynamics and fighting scenes feels natural.... except last one.
Fight scene in the swamp with fog and smoke looks unrealistic. Smoke takes over battleground too fast and it feels empty. Film editing makes it even worse, when they show same action with rolling fireballs from different angles all over again during battle.
Overall, The Pagan King gives me feeling of a good movie which struggles because of low budget and poor script. I would recommend to watch this movie if you are interested in old traditions and cultures, otherwise - you can skip it, won't miss anything.
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