18 December 2016 | Vartiainen
Nice historical drama
Devil's Bride, or Tulen morsian in Finnish, is based on the witch hunts that took place on the Åland Islands in the 17th century. A young woman named Anna Eriksdotter is an apprentice to a local herb woman. Things start to unravel when she falls for a handsome fisherman, who just happens to be married. And at the same time a new judge is sent to town to bring the wrath and fear of God into the countryfolk. And he almost immediately starts lashing against the old pagan habits followed by many. Including those of Valpuri, the aforementioned herb woman and Anna's adoptive mother.
Tulen morsian shines as a movie because of its commitment to the source material and its willingness to stick to real events. All the judged girls are named after real women, whose names can be found in the church records. The ending is also quite bleak, though handled with care and given a twist that makes it a bit more bearable, while in no way ruining it. The technical aspects also work rather well and it's a beautiful period drama, especially given the relatively modest budget.
Unfortunately, there are some flaws. Some of the actors are not quite as good as you'd hope, but that is to be expected, given that Finland and Sweden don't have that large of a pool to draw from. The bigger problem is the story, half of which seems to have ended up on the cutting room floor. There are more than a few story lines that are started but which are never finished. The relationship between Anna and the judge, for example. Goes absolutely nowhere.
Still, I'd recommend seeing this if the source material and the general idea interest you. It's well-made and kept together reasonably well, plus the main characters are very good.