Willow (1988) rewatch – Part 34

Watching the 1988 movie Willow scene-by-scene. Why? Because it’s freakin’ Willow! Hepburn and Tracy have nothing on Madmartigan and Sorsha, 1:22:01-1:24:27 on the Blu-ray.

We begin with a mini travel montage, showing our heroes traverse some country, going from snowy to less snowy. They enter an area with a bunch of rocky crags all around them. Fin Raziel, still in her bird form says “This way! This way!” Does she remember the way to Tir Asleen, or can she merely see the way ahead by flying high above everyone? She adds, “As the crow flies, you fools.” Calling them “fools” seems unlike her at first, but remember that she was unhappy about Willow being more farmer than sorcerer, and she’s just a few scenes away from her calling Willow an idiot. The camera pans upward to reveal this area to be a massive maze of some sort, with multiple paths leading in different directions.


Fade to Madmartigan and Sorsha, still on the back of their horse. She says, “You’re holding me too tight,” only for him to respond, “I don’t want you to get away.” If they’re haven’t gotten off the horse yet, this means it’s likely only been a few hours’ travel. Sorsha continues, “Why? Because I’m your sun, your moon, your starlit sky?” Again, if it’s been a few hours, we can assume she’s been waiting for just the right moment to start in on him like this. He snaps back with, “Get your hair out of my face or I’ll chop it off.” (He’s one to talk about big hair.)


We cut to a different angle of the two of them, suggesting a passage of time, if only a minute or two. Madmartigan says, “Did I really — Did I really say those things last night in your tent?” I like the stutter at the start of that sentence, showing some vulnerability as he approaches the subject. She says he told her he loved her, and he says he doesn’t remember. “You lied to me,” she says. “No, I just wasn’t myself last night,” he says. She lays on the sarcasm, saying, “I suppose my power enchanted you, and you were helpless against it.” He says, “Sort of,” and she asks, “Then what?” He answers, “It went away?”


Sorsha goes from sarcastic to downright angry, saying “It went away? ‘I dwell in darkness without you’ and it went away?” He simply nods and says “Yeah.” This has apparently been the moment Sorsha has been waiting for, because she elbows Madmartigan in the side, making a “yip!” noise, and scrambles off the horse while he reacts with pain and surprise. He gets off the horse and chases her, with them both scrambling to the ground and rolling around in the grass. (It’s almost as if their wrestling is a metaphor for something.)

Madmartigan ends up on top of Sorsha. There’s a very quick reaction shot of Willow as he watches this with a somewhat noncommittal look on his face. Madmartigan says “Whoa” and there’s a few seconds of he and Sorsha looking into each other’s eyes as the score gets all romantic. Unfortunately, Fin Raziel interrupts the mood by squawking, “Hurry! Kael is coming!” Madmartigan gets up to his feet, holding Sorsha by her wrists as she once again struggles to escape. Willow calls for Madmartigan to come on. Madmartigan tries to lift up Sorsha bride-over-the-threshold style, but she resists by punching him. He falls over and she kicks him in the groin before running off. This often gets a laugh from audiences, but I don’t know that it’s intended to be a joke. Looks to me like Sorsha is merely being smart and making sure he doesn’t pursue her.

Madmartigan gets up and starts to pursue Sorsha. Willow again pleads, “Madmartigan, come on!” and Fin Raziel says, “They’re coming! Away!” Willow gives his horse a “hyah!” and takes off. The camera then follows Madmartigan as he runs to his horse and climbs onto the saddle. We then see Sorsha stop and look back, only for Madmartigan to also look back at her. Their eyes meet again. Instead of romance, the music this time remains suspenseful. Sorsha turns and runs in one direction, and Madmartigan rides his horse in the other.

This followed up by a very short scene of General Kael and a bunch of NockMaar soldiers as they round a corner. They stop, Kael does that horse side-step move that you always see in cowboy movies. He looks over the ground in front of him and says, “This way!” His horse takes off at a gallop, and the rest follow. I wonder if he was meant to reunite with Sorsha in this scene, but they didn’t film it. Without that, all we get is that Kael is in close pursuit of our heroes, and he’s able to follow their tracks with a mere glance.

 Next: Every Willow has its thorns. 


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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