The Northman

The Northman ★★★★

Robert Eggers' highly anticipated third film brings us a murky, bloodsoaked adaptation of The Legend of Amleth which is the basis for the renowned Shakespeare tragedy Hamlet. as we experienced in his past two films, Eggers is a master of atmosphere and The Northman is no exception, he skillfully crafts an absorbing world for this hallucinatory revenge odyssey through Norse mythology. the film begins playing out like a simple revenge tale but quickly becomes outwardly complex and morally convoluted, meandering through detours of intense violence, supernatural imagery and psychedelic rituals.

director Eggers welcomes back several of his past alumni for this one-way trip to Valhalla; Anya Taylor-Joy is stunningly beautiful with remarkable screen presence and Willem Dafoe's brilliance is brief but is wacky as ever. the star Alexander Skarsgård put an incredible amount of physical effort into the role, he is a hulking beast, a brooding monster recalling Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian. my main criticism is the Nordic accents... the lack of focus on the main plot may also alienate audiences and seemingly to avoid comparison to the obscene reputation of Game of Thrones, Eggers muzzles the violence and sexuality of this feature somewhat; though it is still brimming with testosterone, it is indeed a film for the boys and may not be as broadly revered by general audiences. despite all this i must say out of Eggers' three films, The Northman still feels the most accessible overall realizing that neither of his previous films have a firm focus on the plot.

while The Northman may not have been wildly successful at the box office, i believe Eggers has proven himself as an auteur and though he may not be granted such a massive budget again for some time, i am confident that he will continue to make great films and eminent talents will continue wanting to work with him.

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