The Witcher jumps back and forth all the time and when it finally connects, in the end, it takes a very normal course of action which is satisfying but it doesn’t excel greatly. This season is a good start, it had the elements to be spectacular but they didn’t use it effectively.
Geralt of Rivia, a great monster hunter of a world filled with beasts, witches, elves, dragons and everything you have already encountered in different fantasy movies and shows. The showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich already announced that the show is primarily based on these two books i.e The Last Wish--considered the first "book" in the Witcher saga-- and Book 2, Sword of Destiny. While the show really adapted the 90’s novel but forgets to use the modern techniques from the gameplay effectively.
The books are largely dependant on the device called “destiny” but the games take a moderate help of this device which is actually more suitable, creative and enchanting in this time when many shows of the similar genre have already evaded our screens since more than a decade late adaptation of this original story. The Witcher started off on a great note while giving a proper background of the three main characters i.e… Geralt ,Yeneffer and Ciri but when everything connected the show took a predictable road rather than surprising us and giving something very effective to wait for in the end.
A scene where Yeneffer travels from portal to portal trying to save a life and tells a sad, philosophical set of dialogues about how women are just vessels in her world, gives a really good character outline to Yeneffer and often you can see all the three character engaging in some philosophical set of dialogues which isn’t really a part of the book but it makes the series quite special.
Also, when the show emphasizes the three main character’s stories, the show forgets to give importance to the evil character’s story. They are usually sidelined, one of the evil characters which could have been used in a very good way just runs in the forest and is never seen again later in the show, I hope I see him later in next season.
While for those who were skeptical about the casting, they don’t need to be because Henry Cavil as Geralt is actually the best person for the role of this monster hunter, he growls,his tone , his accent, his grumbles will actually satisfy all The Witcher gameplay fans. Even Anya Chalotra as Yeneffer is really tempting and lives up to her character, quite amazingly.
The main problem lies in the narrative style, the jumping back and forth is unique and stylish for a show of this genre but the show uses this uniqueness too much and this might actually confuse some viewers as to who is alive or dead in the present time. Also, I would have ignored this narrative style if the ending would have been really good but the ending isn’t as good as the start.
The CGI also falters at some places. The graphics are dark at places where it needs to be but when it comes to show the magical side of the show, the graphics are good but not that impressive. Although, the action choreography of the fight scenes of Geralt, especially his fight with a Striga is possibly one of the best action sequences of this year. The background music at places look a little unorganized but the overall music score of the series is really impressive. Also, the supporting characters like Jaskier, Tissaia, Stregobor were all really well written and acted.
Overall if The Witcher would have used its narrative style brilliantly and kept a surprising ending, the show would have greatly captivated me rather than just giving a satisfying feeling. I hope it gets much better in the later for now it is just a good start, that’s all I have to say.
FINAL VERDICT - 3 / 5.
Give it a try with fewer expectations.