What You Want is Wrong, and the Magic to Get You There: A Dark Song
Someone close to you dies. A family member, beloved, is taken from you. How far would you go to get them back… or to right that wrong?
A Dark Song is a movie about loss and the lengths one would go to fix the problem. What do I mean by fixing the problem? If the problem is losing, surely then fixing means finding, right? For this movie, that’s not clear for a while. In fact, we don’t know our protagonist’s problem or motivations at the beginning. We only know she wants magic. Old magic.
Our protagonist, Sophia, enlists the help of an occult specialist, who had supposedly done this ritual before. Solomon, this expert, is an asshole from the moment he shows up on screen. He also looks like a couch-surfing vagabond, so naturally, Sophia is skeptical.
How The Story Unfolds
Sophia has suffered a loss in her life, and she’s desperate to rectify that loss. But we, the audience, don’t know what that loss is or what she plans to do about it. At first, she tells us someone doesn’t love her anymore. Then — SPOILER — we come to find out her child died, and she blames herself… and others.
For anyone who has studied some of the world’s religions, you will find these occult practices familiar, both in the symbols and the user’s motivations. It feels genuine. The familiarity is comforting. We feel right at home with these myths and methods… at least those of us deeply ingrained in Western culture, history, and practices. These are the magics the Romans would have encountered (and later incorporated into their own) when they invaded Britain.
As the story unfolds, we learn Sophia doesn’t want to bring her son back. The magic she seeks is for vengeance against her son’s killers. Some teenagers dabbling in occult practices tried something — we don’t know what, exactly — and they killed her son. A ritual gone so very wrong.
Have I mentioned Solomon is an ass? At first, he seems more angsty and excessively adversarial than anything else. As it turns out, he’s just a big asshole. Still, he seems to know his stuff and can lead Sophie through the…