Willow (1988) rewatch – Part 32

Rewatching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freakin’ Willow! This is the silliest, goofiest part of the movie, but what if there’s more to it? 1:14:46-1:17:02 on the Blu-ray.

We find ourselves in a James Bond skiing scene, as the shield/sled goes down a much steeper side of the mountain than we’ve previously seen, including a wide shot, to take in just how huge of a mountain this is. Just as the sledding increases in momentum, though, we cut back to Sorsha’s fallen tent, where the two Brownies finally reappear. Franjean says, “Oh no, where did everybody go?” Rool responds “Maybe it was something we said,” for a cheap laugh. Back to the action, then, as General Kael and more NockMaar pursue the heroes on horseback. Kael is now wearing his skull mask, so we know he means business now.

Farther down the mountain, it’s another shield/sled POV shot, as the sled weaves between a bunch of boulders partially buried in the snow. They go down yet another sleep slope, and both Willow and Madmartigan react to something with fear. We then see that something is a cliff. The shield/sled does a big jump off the cliff, trailing snow behind it. It makes a solid landing and keeps speeding downward. Madmartigan, Willow, and the baby all get closeups of the wind hitting their faces, except that the baby is smiling and laughing, seemingly enjoying the ride. The shield/sled is shown going down two more steep slopes, and then into what appears to be an ice cave, a thin path of snow with shear blue walls on either side. This leads to another cliff, and another big jump.

This time, the sled/shield lands a lot rougher, and Madmartigan falls off the back, only to start immediately tumbling downward on his side. I’m sure a lot first-time viewers already knew (or dreaded) where this was going. There’s another shot of Willow and the baby sledding down yet another steep slope, followed by Madmartigan tumbling down an almost vertical slope.

The geography finally flattens out as Willow arrives at a small village of about only buildings with snow-covered roofs. He’s still moving at high speed, though, on a crash course with one of the larger buildings right in front of him. With a “Whoa!” he sleds right through the front door, and we hear a crashing sound from inside.

Cut to inside, and it’s the aftermath of the crash, in a kitchen-type setting with furniture knocked over, baskets overturned, and fruit all over the floor. (Where are they getting fresh fruit on a snow-topped mountain?) Willow checks to see if the baby is okay, and she is yawning. This usually gets a big laugh from viewers, but, as we’re about to see, I wonder if there’s more to it than that.

Willow steps outside, looks around, and then his eyes widen in shock. He whispers, “Madmartigan,” and then we see Madmartigan has picked up snow while tumbling down the mountain, so now he’s a giant snowball rolling down the mountainside, just like an old-timey cartoon. Willow runs back inside, shutting the door behind him, and then peeks through a window. The snowball continues forward, as one man ducks to the side, making this the first other person we’ve seen in this village. The snowball hits the wall right in front of the open window. The snowball breaks apart, causing snow to fly through the window and fall all over Willow.

While Willow is jokey and lighthearted throughout, this scene feels incongruent because of how deep it goes into an almost Naked Gun level of silliness not seen anywhere else in the movie. What are we to make of this, compared to the rest of the movie? Well, Cherlindrea revealed that the baby Elora Danan is intelligent, and has awareness of her surroundings, and has great magic to her. We see the baby smiling during the shield/sled ride, so is the baby magically controlling the shield/sled? Elora then yawns after the ride, as Madmartigan is inside the snowball. Is it possible that Elora Danan created the snowball to save Madmartigan, and doing so tired her out, hence her yawning? Yes, I know I’m deep (too deep) into fan theory territory here, but this would justify the snowball gag being in the movie, and it keeps Elora Danan present as an active member of the adventuring party.

Madmartigan clumsily frees himself of the snow surrounding him, as a bunch of locals gather around to watch him. Dazed, Madmartigan grabs the sides of his head while stumbling around. He asks “What the hell happened up there?” Willow skips to the middle of the recap by saying, “You started spouting poetry.” He asks, “Poetry,” and Willow starts paraphrasing, “‘I love you, Sorsha. I worship you, Sorsha.’ You almost got us killed.” With that, Willow kicks some snow in Madmartigan’s direction. Madmartigan repeats, “‘I love you, Sorsha?’” and then one of the movie’s most often-quoted lines, “I don’t love her. She kicked me in the face.” He adds, “I hate her.” He then thinks for a moment and says, “Don’t I?” He grabs the sides of his head in confusion again. In previous posts, I’ve argued that Sorsha’s change of heart has more to do than just her being horny for Madmartigan. Now, Madmartigan’s “Don’t I?” suggests his feelings for her might be more than just the Dust of Broken Hearts.

Next: Look who’s back.


Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.


About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH. amazon.com/dp/B00859NDJ8
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