The Stronghold

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1 year ago added
The Stronghold
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IMDb: 6.2
When he was a little boy, Vitko was in an accident  with his family: their car fell off a bridge and   his father died. Years later, as a teenager, Vitko  still has nightmares about it and has developed a   paralyzing fear of heights. One morning he doesn't  want to go to school because they'll be going on   an excursion to the mountains to watch the solar  eclipse, and he's afraid his phobia will kick in.   His mom makes him change his mind by promising  his father will always be there protecting   him. Meanwhile one thousand years in the past, a  shaman is using his magic to start a spell that   will help him find the Stone of Power. The fire  in front of him forms the shape of a dragon head,   which matches the image on Vitko's jacket.  Speaking of Vitko, he's actually having fun   on the excursion with his best friend Vovchyk  and a toy plane he's built himself. Vitko has   also brought a bunch of fireworks to light at the  end of the day, and Vovchyk has brought his very   own megaphone to fool around with. After walking  through the forest for a while, the group needs   to cross a bridge to reach the mountaintop, but  Vitko freezes in the middle of it because of his   phobia and Vovchyk has to drag him back to the  beginning. The entire class begins laughing at   Vitko for what they consider a silly fear and the  fact his pants are wet, thinking he peed himself   when actually it was the water bottle in his  pocket. Humiliated Vitko runs back into the forest   and hides behind a cliff. Vovchyk comes after  him to remind him they don't need such friends,   but their chat is interrupted when the eclipse  finally begins and an earthquake suddenly hits   the area. Vovchyk falls off the edge and holds  onto the rocks just in time, but he won't be able   to stay like that for long. Vitko wants to help  him yet his phobia keeps him frozen, and before   he can think of something to do, a magic portal  opens behind him and absorbs Vitko together with   the megaphone. When Vitko opens his eyes again, he  finds himself on the same cliff but in the past, a   thousand years back to be exact. Nearby, there's a  man in armor called Oleshko picking up flowers for   the girl he likes when he's suddenly attacked by a  group of enemy cumans. Defeating these soldiers is   easy for Oleshko and his sword skills, but things  get complicated when he's attacked by their leader   Andaco, who quickly overpowers him and brings  more soldiers to capture Oleshko. At that moment,   Vitko trips while trying to get a better look  and accidentally activates the megaphone,   distracting the soldiers and giving Oleshko the  chance to escape. Luckily Oleshko has a horse and   is able to pick up Vitko to take him away with  him. When they reach the river, Oleshko summons   the spirit that lives there to form a path for him  to pass, and this path disappears once Oleshko and   Vitko have crossed, making Andaco and the cumans  give up for now and leave. Oleshko takes Vitko to   his village, which is protected by a stronghold  that he wasn't supposed to leave so Oleshko gets   scolded by the town leaders for disobeying orders.  Vitko's clothes and manner of speaking are seen as   weird by the villagers, and thinking he may be  a spy, the leaders lock him up until they decide   what to do. Meanwhile Andaco goes to see the  shaman to discuss the failure of their mission,   but the shaman surprisingly reacts happily when  he hears about the boy in weird clothes. Since   the dragon on his jacket matches the one in the  shaman's visions, it means Vitko is the person   that will guide them to the Stone of Power.  Sometime later, Vitko is visited by Olenka,   a young girl that brings him milk and makes sure  he's doing fine, she also confirms he's in the   year 1120. Before Vitko can ask more, Oleshko  comes to pick him up and take him to the river   for a test: the water spirit will decide if he's a  spy or he's trustworthy. Vitko is thrown into the   river with his hands tied and for a moment thinks  he's going to die, but the river spirit considers   him worthy and throws him out without hurting him.  He may still be seen as a weirdo by the villagers,   but at least now Vitko is accepted as one of them  and gets to meet the leaders properly. There's the   wise elder Ovsiy and, more shockingly, the  fighters Illya and Dobrynya; putting their   names together with Oleshko makes Vitko realize  these are three mighty bogatyr warriors from the   legends. They don't believe Vitko when he says  he's from the future until he uses the megaphone   as proof, and when he asks for a way to return to  his own time, Ovsiy promises to look into it. In   the meantime, Vitko will stay with Rosanka and her  mother, and Oleshko takes him there as an excuse   to talk to Rosanka since she's the girl he's been  picking flowers for. Later in the evening, Ovsiy   comes with some news after talking to the river  spirit: there are two ways for Vitko to return to   the future. He can either wait for another eclipse  that will re-open the portal, or search for a mage   that will teach him how to open it by force.  Oleshko knows where to find a mage but he isn't   sure if Vitko should go because mages put people  through very tough trials before helping them,   so Vitko offers a deal: if Oleshko trains him,  he'll gift him his megaphone. Oleshko accepts and   Vitko spends a few days in the village, learning  to use the sword, the bow, and just general tips   on how to defend himself. He also gets to meet the  stronghold's watchtower, which is so tall that it   can help them keep an eye on the whole kingdom,  and Tuharyn, a cuman prisoner that steals a pin   from Vitko because he's obsessed with gifts.  In return for his teachings, Oleshko gets to   play with all kinds of modern objects like chewing  bubblegum and taking pictures with a cell phone,   he also learns that in the future he's a fairytale  knight. Once Vitko's training is complete, Oleshko   gets the megaphone and in exchange gives Vitko a  map to find the mage, although he must promise not   to tell the leaders he's going away since leaving  the stronghold is forbidden and that's why Oleshko   can't go with him. Later that day, Oleshko visits  Rosanka again, using the megaphone to get her to   leave the house without her mother seeing them,  but she isn't impressed by the fact one day he's   going to be famous. The next morning, the cuman  shaman puts a spell on a raven to spy on Vitko,   who has left the village and is now crossing  the forest. He isn't sure if he's following   Oleshko's map correctly, but fortunately he comes  across Olenka while she's gathering mushrooms and   convinces her to be his guide since she seems to  know the area well. Without noticing the raven   that is following them, the teens walk for a few  hours until they enter a passage between two huge   rock walls, and Vitko suddenly finds himself in  a desolate land, which is an illusion cast by the   mage. Vitko can hear the mage's voice speaking  in his mind, asking him for a test if he wants   knowledge: he must confess his greatest fear,  and lying would only get him punishment. Without   hesitation, Vitko shares the story of the car  accident, his fear of heights, and the fact this   fear got in the way of saving Vovchyk. The mage  approves of the boy for having accepted his own   weakness and shares the information he's looking  for: the Stone of Power that will take him back   to the future can be found where the wingless make  their nests, and it'll be seen when he straddles   the wind. Only someone able to touch another  heart with his own can do it, but this power   can also spread pain and misery around. As soon as  the mage finishes saying the riddle, Vitko returns   to the forest and learns Olenka never noticed he  had been gone. However she does believe him when   he shares his experience and guesses that the nest  for the wingless must refer to Stork Village. They   make it to this village a few hours later, and to  find the stone, Vitko uses a kite that he makes on   the spot to straddle the wind as the riddle said.  The kite falls into the water, and Vitko jumps in   to follow the string until he finally finds the  Stone of Power. The raven sees all this and as   soon as the news reaches the shaman, he sends a  bunch of cuman soldiers to steal the stone. These   warriors are ruthless and not only do they kidnap  Vitko and Olenka, they also kill the villagers   and light their houses on fire. Fortunately thanks  to the watchtower, the soldiers at the stronghold   learn about this attack and immediately send their  own warriors, led by Illya, Dobrynya, and Oleshko.   They beat up the cumans easily with their superior  sword skills, but there's an archer hidden in   the woods that they can't see. Vitko does see him  though, and he uses his own bow to get him before   he can shoot a single arrow. Once everyone returns  to the stronghold, Vitko and Olenka are scolded   for leaving, but at least Illya promises to guide  Vitko the next day so he can find the place where   he can use the stone. Meanwhile Andaco is furious  with the shaman since his plan made them lose   an entire unit of soldiers, and threatens with  killing him if he doesn't get him the stone next   time. The following morning, Vitko is taken to the  rock that brought him to the past, but putting the   Stone of Power on it does nothing. Vitko thinks it  has to do with the part of the riddle mentioning   hearts, but Ovsiy thinks they need to wait for a  storm because the god that made that stone was the   muster of thunder and that may activate its power.  When they return to the stronghold, Vitko follows   Ovsiy to his home and discovers the old man is an  inventor that is trying to make a flying machine.   Obviously his knowledge is lacking, thus Vitko  takes the chance to teach him about aerodynamics,   using a paper plane as an example. From then  on, Vitko and Ovsiy work together on making   functional wings, but Vitko also spends some time  with Olenka, who shares local legends with him,   including one about star-crossed lovers that leave  behind a stone heart. To thank her for everything,   Vitko gifts her a cute little paper bird. While  the shaman prepares a new spell for his next plan,   Illya and his men manage to capture a cuman  soldier and interrogate him until they learn   Andaco knows about the stone, which means  they need to hide it to keep it safe. Ovsiy   thinks the best hiding spot is on top of the  watchtower and when he notices Vitko doesn't   want to go up there with him, he reminds him  that confronting your fears is important and   that Vitko will always have the village's support  to rely on. Riding the elevator is never-wrecking,   but Vitko manages to make it all the way to the  top and start controlling his fear at least a   little bit. Ovsiy hides the stone inside an old  rock and this is seen by the shaman's magic,   who decides the time has come. A few hours  later, a storm finally comes, and Olenka tries   to tell Vitko she doesn't want him to leave  but he doesn't get the metaphor she's using.   Soon the rain starts including hail too, which  hits Tuharyn in his cage and makes Vitko feel   bad for him, so he grabs some old sailcloth and  covers the cage with it to protect the prisoner.   Olenka is impressed by Vitko's bravery and rewards  him with a kiss on his cheek. That night, a flash   of lightning hits the stronghold wall and breaks  some stone that falls near the cage, Tuharyn takes   advantage of this and uses this debris to break  the lock, escaping under the protection of the   rain. Tuharyn travels all the way to the cuman  camp, where it's revealed he's Andaco's brother,   yet Andaco doesn't want anything to do with such  a deformed beast. The gifts Tuharyn have brought   for him don't impress him because they're silly  things like a chicken, but Andaco quickly changes   his mind when the shaman notices Tuharyn has also  brought the Stone of Power. However the stone   still hasn't been activated and the shaman fails  when he tries to use it, so he informs Andaco that   they'll need the person that retrieved the stone  from the river to make it work. The next morning,   people in the stronghold find out that Tuharyn and  the stone are gone. Attacking the cuman camp would   be a bad idea that would get them all killed,  so Vitko and Ovsiy concentrate on finishing the   flying machine because it's their only hope to  recover the stone. Sometime later, while Ovsiy   and Olenka go out to gather berries and some mud  to paint the flying machine, they're ambushed by a   group of cuman warriors that kidnap Olenka. Ovsiy  tries to defend himself, but there are too many   of them and he ends up wounded. He does manage  to make it back to the village, but he only can   tell everyone about what happened to Olenka before  dying. Speaking of Olenka, she's taken to Andaco,   who steals her paper bird and sends it with a  raven as a message to Vitko. Dangerous as it may   be, Vitko still decides to go alone to the cuman  camp, where he's asked to activate the stone if he   wants Olenka to live. Pretending to know what he's  doing, Vitko pulls out the fireworks from his bag   and lights them up as he says random phrases  from his English class to make it seem like   he's speaking a mysterious, mythical language.  Then he throws the fireworks at the soldiers to   create chaos and confusion around the camp, which  allows him to grab Olenka and run to the horses.   Unfortunately before they can escape, they're  captured again by Andaco, who gives Vitko one   last chance to activate the stone or he'll kill  them both. Vitko doesn't know what to do until he   recites the riddle in his head again and realizes  "heart to heart" means the magic of the human   bond. He approaches Olenka and when they hold the  stone together, the magic inside it finally comes   to life. After the shaman takes the stone away  to power up their army, Andaco orders Tuharyn to   kill the teens, but he can't bring himself to do  it because he remembers how kind Vitko had been   to him. Instead, Tuharyn frees Vitko and Olenka  and gets them a horse, and such a gesture earns   him a piece of candy from Vitko as thanks. Tuharyn  loves gifts and tries to impress his brother with   the candy, but Andaco ends up killing him for what  he considers a great betrayal. The next morning,   Vitko and Olenka make it back to the stronghold  and warn everyone about the incoming cuman attack.   All the soldiers and the three bogatyr  warriors get ready to defend their home,   but nothing prepares them for the sight that comes  with the cuman army: it's a giant golem that the   shaman is controlling with the power of the stone.  The stronghold fires its catapults but none of the   projectiles is strong enough to hurt the golem,  in fact the big guy takes one of the boulders and   shoots it back, breaking the gate. Noticing how  big and heavy the golem is, Oleshko gets an idea   and leaves the stronghold to make the golem chase  him, expertly dodging every slow attack until he   makes the golem trip and fall into the river,  where the water spirit captures it. Oleshko   falls into the river as well, causing Rosanka to  get worried and run to the shore to cry for him,   but it turns out he's just fine and Rosanka  rewards his heroics with a kiss. At that moment,   a new eclipse begins, so Vitko says goodbye to  Olenka and gets a horse in order to reach the rock   with the portal quickly. Unfortunately the eclipse  is also seen as a sign by Andaco, who orders his   army to take advantage of the poor light and  attack the stronghold. Under the bogatyr trio's   wise leadership, the villagers defend their home  from the cuman army to the point where even the   women manage to land a hit or two. Finding himself  at disadvantage, Andaco decides to leave with his   soldiers before they're all killed, but the shaman  isn't ready to give up yet: he still has control   over the stone and manages to bring the golem out  of the water for a new attack. Noticing the return   of the golem even at a distance, Vitko decides  to come back to the stronghold and share a plan   to defeat it. Ovsiy's words of support are still  strong in his mind and help him overcome his fear,   allowing Vitko to quickly take the elevator  to the top of the watchtower and climb on the   flying machine, which flies as smoothly as it was  designed for. At the same time the golem reaches   the stronghold to begin destroying it, Vitko  lands on the cliff where the shaman is standing,   pushing him off to his death and finally  recovering the Stone of Power. Andaco arrives at   the cliff as well, intending to steal the stone,  so Vitko throws it in the water to stop it from   falling in the wrong hands and causes the golem to  disintegrate. A furious Andaco wants to kill Vitko   for his indolence, but Oleshko arrives just in  time to fight him again in a fierce battle between   master swordsmen. Since Andaco doesn't have his  army to support him this time, he falls to his   death the same way the shaman did. There's no time  to celebrate though because the eclipse is about   to end, so Oleshko takes Vitko to the forest to  find the portal on the rock. Before Vitko leaves,   Olenka comes to say goodbye as well and kisses  him, promising she'll always wait for him.   As soon as he enters the portal, Vitko is  transported back to the present, where Vovchyk   is still hanging on the edge of the cliff.  Now that he isn't scared of heights anymore,   Vitko is capable of saving him, and such heroics  earn him an ovation from his class. A year later,   Vitko's mother surprises him with an ancient book  he's been looking for since his eclipse excursion.   By following the information in the text, Vitko  manages to find the stone heart from the story,   and by touching it, he can feel Olenka's  presence in the past touching it as well.
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