Brotherhood of the Wolf, the/Le pact des loups - Still enjoyed after many viewings

Duration: 142min
Category: action
Available: On DVD
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When I first saw Brotherhood of the Wolf I honestly wasn't expecting much. I had just suffered through an injury that had me hospitalized and I hadn't been to the cinema in a month. I was eager to see anything and since it was March, there was very little of interest on movie screens. I had heard some good word of mouth about Brotherhood so I went to check it out.

I remember being blown away. From the first moments of the film, I was enraptured, completely absorbed into the story and characters. It was visually stunning on a huge screen and the film just sort of surrounded me in its majesty. Remember I had been hospitalized and hadn't seen a film in over a month. For a film lover like me that was tortuous so some of my reaction must have come from the relief of seeing a movie, any movie, on a big screen, or any screen, again. That's why, I was sure it wasn't going to live up to my memories when I picked up the French language DVD that was available at the time.

I was wrong. The film, while much smaller on my 27" screen, was still breathtaking and magical. From the riveting presence and artistry of Mark Decascos as an imported "savage" from New France and the always (but especially here) stunningly beautiful Monica Bellucci to the lush landscapes and quaint villages of Imperial France, Brotherhood of the Wolf is one gorgeous movie. I love it when a film maker can make me gush over their hot looking film.

Beyond the aesthetics, the story is legendary. It's a romance, an adventure, a wuxia, an historical drama, a horror story, a melodramatic soap opera. It's everything rolled into one. I watched it again and again, giddy with film geek glee.

However recently I hadn't seen it in a while and again I was concerned it wouldn't hold up a couple of years later. But once again, I was not disappointed. Once more I was transported to another time and place. Like a wonderfully rousing campfire story, Brotherhood of the Wolf is a failsafe pleaser, offering its audience all it needs to be entertained.

The features on my DVD are all in French but if you can understand the language, they are worth enjoying. The treatment given to the film is one that obviously shows the love that went into making it and for fans who understand the language there is much to get out of it. I believe there is an English language DVD but I don't know what features are available. For my money this was well worth the purchase. I love it when a film comes out of nowhere (or in this case, France) and is able to continue to wow me for years to come.

Review By: Collin Smith

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