November (2017) – an underrated gem that deserves more attention

It’s been a while since I last posted, but real life can get taxing at times. But luckily I am back with something special.

“November” is an Estonian dark folk horror movie based on a novel called Rehepapp ehk November (“Old Barny aka November”) by author Andrus Kivirähk.

A small village in Estonia is preparing for winter. On top of that, they are trying to protect themselves from all sorts of evil spirits, the plague, and even the devil. But in order to save themselves and get what they want, they are prepared to do anything, even lie, cheat and steal.

In the middle of it all, we see a young girl, called Liina who is desperate and willing to do anything to be with the one that she loves – Hans. However, Hans is in love with the daughter of the baron. Will she be able to get him to love her? Will the village survive the winter?

With a running time just short of 2 hours this movie was a bit of a risk for me. I knew hardly anything about it but I wanted to watch something new and different and it definitely delivered.

This is a stunning movie. One of the most beautifully shot movies that I have seen in a very long time. The black and white shots of the village accompanied by the fantastic soundtrack were absolutely breathtaking. It sets a very surreal and dark tone that makes this movie the perfect anti fairytale. It is so bleak and tragic and yet so beautiful.

The contrast between what you usually expect from a setting like this and what we actually get was one of my favorite things about the movie. The villagers are petty, conniving and only care about themselves. As I said above they are liars and cheaters. And at times you find yourself hoping that they get their just deserts. But at the end of the day, you can’t really help but sympathize with them. In a movie with so much style and surrealism the characters really do not fall behind, in fact at times they outshine the artistic side, which can be something rare in movies such as these. Yes, they do some questionable things but they are humans just trying to survive.

At the forefront of all this, we had the main character Liina who was my favorite part of the film. The stunning and talented Rea Lest did a great job portraying such a tragic and relatable character that invests you in the movie even further.

Although not as horror, as one would expect it is still a very dark movie that climaxes at the end where we get to see a very poetic and tragic ending to a simple yet very effective story.

Final verdict: 9/10

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