Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion - A review

No one in the USA seems to have heard of Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion, but out here in Asia-land, where we grew up on the tales of Asterix, Obelix, and the rest of the mad, mad inhabitants of that little Gaulish village that withstood the might of Caesar and all his legions, the movie was greeted with loud cheers.

So, obviously, Yours Truly had to go and do his traditional First Day First Show. 1000 hrs (10:30am to you plebes) showing at Liberty Screen 2.

TL;DR: it was great, You should watch it.

Spoilers follow

At the base level, this is like all the Asterix movies you have seen as a kid. Asterix and the rest of the Tiny Little Village (I should just start calling it the TLV) face a challenge, and they all get together to fight it. But it's ... not really likke that. Getafix manges to fall off a tree, lrading to a loss of confidence, and him deciding to pass the secret of the magic potion to another.

It's at this point that I realise that the inhabitants of the TLV are finally having to deal with the future. For all our childhood (and most of our adulthood) we have believed that these heroes would be there for us, that they would be that refuge for us. All of a sudden we find that Asterix and his friends have been suffering from this delusion too. And it becomes apparent to Getafix only after he falls from a tree.

All of a sudden, this is apparent to all of us.

And that's it. Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix (and Dogmatix, though he has a horrifyingly small role here) head out in a search for a worthy successor to his sickle, while the antagonist, Diablix chases after them for the secret for the magic potion so he can sell it t the Romans.

The thing about this movie, is that it raises some interesting questions. Should the secret of the Magic Potion have been kept to one tiny village? What would have happened if the secres twere allowed to spread all around Gaul?

Was Getafix being selfish in that decision?

Evidently, this is an Asterix movie that is not afraid to ask the hard questions.

And, for me at least, that is what makes this movie memrable. That it asked questions we, as readers should have asked decades ago.

Of course, there are many moments where they make shoutouts to the rest of the world. it wouldnt be an Asterix movie if that was not the case. The Senator named Tomcrusix, and the reference to bringing "balance to the force" are just two that I noticed, There were many more, I leave them for you to find.

The big thing in the movie is the introduction of Pectine, a girl who sneaks into the group and joins them in their adventures. She gets told to act and dress like a boy, because druids don't like girls. Thtoughout the movie she shows her talent and her ability to be a contributing member to the team. Eventually, she helps the Chosen Successor (who also happens to be in the thrall of Demonix) make the magic potion. Which he, of course, screws up. And then it is her turn. She brews the magic potion from memory, from watching The Chosen One brew it. She even has Getafix give her the final secret ingedient so she can brew up a proper bath of potion.

And that ends it.

Her story finishes there, and she tries to forget the "forbidden knowledge."

And this is what gets mee. Maybe I've been spoiled by the modern trend in movies, but I was expecting more. I really wanted her to be accepted. I wanted her to be declares the Worthy Successor. Not because she was female, but because she proved that she was good at being a druid (druidery?).

Asterix: Secret of the Magic Potion was a great ride. It's defintely a must watch for any fan of the books. I liked it. Until they (at least for me) dropped the ball.

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