Movie Review: The Wheel Of Time

I must be the last person on Earth who didn’t watch Game of Thrones. Just reading that again, and I realized it will look great on a teeshirt. I might actually make one someday.

So, that tells you how much I’m into fantasy series. Not to be confused with science-fiction, of which I am quite a big fan. But fantasy, not so much.

In this context, me writing about The Wheel Of Time should tell something. I didn’t expect to go past trailer, but here I am, 4 episodes later (the show is dripped, one episode per week, and the fifth one will be aired on December 3rd). There are a few ingredients done very well in this production, and I will try to describe them.

First of all, it’s great cinematography. I don’t know what they used, and who’s behind the image (I could look it up, but I’m lazy). The end result, though, is very good. There are at least a dozen of drone-driven scenes, in which the camera starts from a high point, comes down to the earth level, changing angles a few times, highlighting different parts and characters of the story, and ends to the main character of the scene, signaling the beginning of a dialogue, most of the time. I find this fluid way of filming very expressive, it adds a lot of depth to the movie.

Second, the story rang a bell. Wheel Of Time builds on top of a concept very similar to one in Buddhism, namely reincarnation. I am interested in stories that can draw meaning from that, and this one, so far, seems to do that. Souls are not lost, in the movie, they are just traveling on the wheel of time, and, at some point, they might come back. That’s why it’s important to preserve this world, and to improve it, because even if we’re not living at the same time, even if we’re not sharing this space anymore, it’s absolutely certain that our souls will come back again. Saving the world for the ones that are not here anymore (but who are certain to come back again) is the ultimate good deed.

Third, the story planes are variate and inciting, without being too complex or predictable. There are a few influence groups: Aes Sedai, Whiteclocks, followers of the Way of The Leaf, Fades, Gleemen and so on. All these groups are very well defined and their interaction is very vivid, without being dull. At least so far. We’re just 4 episodes into the story.

And fourth, I just like the dialogues. Some of them are witty, others short and cutting through, while others are just floating, half-saying things that you should infer. It’s rare to have this dynamic in a movie, usually dialogues are following a fixed pattern, matching fixed characters.

All in all, The Wheel Of Time has been a pleasant experience so far. I found a reason to check out Prime Video on Fridays, something I didn’t do in a very long time.

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