The Hexer

2001 [POLISH]

Adventure / Fantasy

IMDb Rating 3.7/10 10 2307 2.3K

Plot summary

Adapted from a series of fantasy novels by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher tells the tale of Geralt, one of a few remaining "witchers" — traveling monster hunters for hire, gifted with unnatural powers.

November 25, 2023 at 09:44 AM


Marek Brodzki

Top cast

Agata Buzek as Pavetta
Anna Dymna as Nenneke
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.16 GB
Polish 2.0
25 fps
2 hr 9 min
Seeds ...
2.38 GB
Polish 5.1
25 fps
2 hr 9 min
Seeds ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ptdlugosz 2 / 10

A dead loss, to the fantasy genre.

When just days before the film's premiere, its screenwriter backs out of the project, and demands his name to be removed from the credits, you know that this does not bode well.

The books, on which "Wiedzmin" is based on, have great potential for a vivacious fantasy film – "Geralt de Rivia is a witcher; his sole purpose is to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil, and not everything fair is good…" But all that didn't matter, when a polish film crew, with a low budget, and no, or little appreciation for Sapkowski's work, decided to make a 13-part mini-series out of it. The two-hour film is a by-product of their actions, to maximize the profits.

It's not hard to point out in this case, what makes people label this film as bad. Plot (incoherent, thanks to cramming it with too many stories), acting (below average, with exception of Zebrowski), dialogues (bland), editing (choppy), special effects (unbearable) and choreography (poor), add up to the film's overall bad experience. Only the soundtrack, done by Grzegorz Ciechowski, brings out the beauty of the world of "Wiedzmin", which was never brought to the screen. Even Poland's grandiose flora and fauna (where part of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" was shot), a crucial element in almost ANY fantasy film, were not used up to their full potential. The more I think about this dead loss, the more I'm running out of words. At least, it's a comfort to know, that Marek Brodzki, the director of "Wiedzmin", has directed only one film ever since (in addition, in Germany).

For now, we're left with top-notch fantasy stories and a fantastic computer RPG (released in 2007) referring to the Wiedzmin books. But I'm sure that one day, justice will be done for the Wiedzmin saga, and we'll be treated with an equally good film adaptation soon enough.

Reviewed by steven-222 7 / 10

Handsome and haunting fantasy

Methinks the vicious slams against this film, made by hardcore fans of source author Andrzej Sapkowski, are a bit out of line. Sapkowski's books, very popular in Poland, are not available in English yet (a UK edition comes out in 2007), and I have not read them, so I watched the film with no expectations. There is some excellent film-making here, an unusual atmosphere (helped by a fine music score and great scenery), and, most memorable, the magnetic performance of Michal Zebrowski in the lead. In WITH FIRE AND SWORD, Zebrowski seemed merely ornamental (he is very good-looking); here, he truly claims the role of the lonely warrior moving through a broken world determined to find a higher moral code.

Comparison with Tolkien is largely misplaced, although this fantasy also clearly grows out of the catastrophes of the 20th century. In HEXER, we enter a world of vicious power struggles and atrocities. When a ruthless band resembling Teutonic Knights wipes out a sacred retreat of women, you can't help but think of the Nazi atrocities in Poland. The content also draws on older Polish history, such as the 17th century practice of impaling captives; you won't find that in Tolkien! The resonance of this exotic background and the seriousness of these themes give the film a welcome sense of gravitas that results in some haunting images and moments.

Regarding special effects, I grew up in the 1960s on Ray Harryhausen claymation, and while I appreciate the tremendous advances in FX, they don't make or break a film for me. The special effects here are certainly not Hollywood state of the art, but nor are they cheesy; they are respectable.

The film's biggest weakness seems to stem from the fact that a longer version appeared as a TV series in Poland, and this feature release was edited from that. Indeed, some developments seem too rushed and some characters pop up very abruptly; the story is not unintelligible, but does require a bit of concentration from the viewer. I would love to see the longer, more fleshed-out version on DVD someday.

Reviewed by bogorad 4 / 10

Okay TV-movie

This is actually a compilation of TV-series. A lot was left out, and maybe that's why it feels so inconsistent in places. Geralt was good, as was the little heiress. I'd say the TV-series was okay, the movie - not so good. Go for the books instead.

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