It sucks to be a woman, what goes up must come down, and don’t pin all your hopes on your star player. All this and more in Berserk: The Capture of Doldrey.
Picking up from the first movie, the Band of Hawk is swiftly rising to fame and power. Perhaps too swiftly if the jealous and bitter looks by the other nobles are anything to go by. Certainly Griffith has few friends among the nobility and when his star finally falls, it will fall hard.
This movie largely centres around the siege of Doldrey and the events leading up to and after that. It is certainly an impressive battle. Although the odds were against them, a combination of prowess, strategy and the leader’s very convenient overconfidence lead to a decisive win by the Band of Hawk. There are a few things about this battle that I would like to talk about. Firstly I want to mention is the sheer goriness of it. Heads fly, arms get chopped off, blood sprays everywhere like a pubescent boy burying his head into a woman’s breasts. The body count rockets.
Secondly, the deaths aren’t all soldier scumbags. General Boscon is a pretty decent guy. We also see the bodies of the women in the baths lying around after the Band of Hawk takes Doldrey. I rather appreciate the frank brutality of war depicted in Berserk.
Though Guts is certainly the star of the battle, we should all give a hand to Casca for being generally badass. It’s not easy being a woman in what is essentially a male-dominated profession. This second instalment really hammers it home. In the second movie, Casca is almost always threatened with rape, with the derision of guys who think she’s easy pickings just because she’s a woman. Also, having to fight on your period is no fun at all. With all this, she seems to have developed slight complex about her gender where she suspects anyone showing concern for her is only doing it because she’s just a “weak woman”.
As for Guts, his reservations only grow in the second movie. Finally, Guts ups and decides to leave the Band of Hawk; a decision that you just know will end badly for all. Particularly Griffith. I admit, so far we’ve only see the cool and collected Griffith, his shock and…sadness? anger? at Guts’ departure took me by surprise. It also leads to him doing rather stupid things. Literally. With Princess Charlotte.
Words of advice: Don’t watch this movie with your parents around. There is a rather graphic sex scene near the end and the sounds were incredibly…let’s just say that I had to turn down the volume in case my neighbours heard. Also, I wonder if I was the only one who felt a slight homoerotic vibe as Griffith thrusts into Princess Charlotte while replaying Guts’ farewell scene over and over. Just me? Alright, fine…
As daylight breaks, Griffith finds himself screwed (in more ways than one) as Charlotte’s father finds out and consigns him to being whipped by one of Dobby’s uglier relatives. He also takes his wrath out on the Band of Hawk, tricking them into a field without weapons or armour and then raining them with arrows. And so the second movie ends on a sort of cliff-hanger as you wonder for the fate of the band and Griffith. Things are starting to reach a head in terms of Griffith’s war efforts, and the preview promises to ratchet the general insanity up a few notches.