Celluloid vs. Reality
Eight people viewed the independently made film Drawing Down the Moon one recent Monday evening. The ordeal can best be summed up by a college student, who used the film as part of a Sociology class project, when she indicated the portrayal of the main character - a witch - was different than what has otherwise come out of Hollywood, but it was still "painful to watch".
There were some major flaws with this movie. Foremost, the "bad guys" are far too stereotypical. One - played by Walter Koenig of the original Star Trek series - is a "victim of circumstance", in that his father was the original villain, who died and left the family business to his son, who really wants to be a mathematician. The prime henchman is an ignorant, cocaine snorting skinhead with a self-administered tattoo reading "Satin Rules". He does attribute the misspelling to his own stupidity at one point.
Then, there are the corporate bad guys, who add a degree of unnecessarily excessive violence to the film. And the local police of the small town, who are on the payroll of the wannabe mathematician.
But the main plot is also flawed. The witch comes to a small town, staff in hand, and decides to fix things single-handedly. She commits breaking and entering on an abandoned building, only after deciding it would be a perfect place for her homeless shelter going to the landlord and asking permission. At points, it seems she is foisting her beliefs on those who avail themselves of the shelter, by having them join her in the circle for rituals. She even casts a spell on a young girl, without her knowledge or her mother's permission.
In the end, with dead bodies bleeding on the floor and everything in turmoil, the witch departs the small town, leaving those she wanted to help to clean up after her.
While it is not The Craft, Drawing Down the Moon isn't accurate, either. The ethics practiced by the majority of witches is entirely lacking, and there are too many cliches to make the film worth watching.
When will filmmakers understand: a realistic movie about a witch would be boring... But someone should make one, just to prove to curious audiences that Pagans are just as ordinary as they are.
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