The Northman

The Northman ★★★★½

Getting absorbed into the world created by Robert Eggers is an important perk of watching his films. Viking History is an interesting part of the world. Once Eggers announced his next film as a Viking revenge folklore, anyone would get probably interested. Well, The Northman definitely lived upto and maybe surpassed the expectations. What Eggers has mastered as a filmmaker is transporting his audience into a time entirely different from our own. Once his films begin, total immersion starts as you enter an experience unlike any other. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in every bit of The Northman are stunning, with believable, immaculate production design. While some films set in the past make the mistake of having everything feel polished and artificial, this movie is gritty, with dirty costumes in settings that complement the film's dark tone.

This is a triumphant effort from Eggers to tell a more mainstream narrative while keeping in tune with his distinct stylings. Eggers brings some of that to The Northman, giving his characters striking visions that lead to a beautifully unique cinematic experience. At the same time, he crafts a story of vengeance that serves the characters very well. There are long takes with copious amounts of bloody, brutal violence that can be shocking. The barbarity of every insane fight scene matches the fierce nature of the Vikings and demonstrates the strength of Amleth as he embarks on his plan of vengeance. What will surely stick with audiences above all else are the film’s stirring, wholly committed performances. Skarsgård is particularly phenomenal, channeling childhood wounds through each act of vengeful wrath. Anya Taylor-Joy is incredible with steely eyed determination and Claes Bang is terrific, bringing depth and nuance to a possibly one note character.

The Northman is a gloriously ruthless saga involving sorcery, the immutability of fate, sackings. But its most notable quality is the way it refuses to bend its characters to the present, preferring instead to make them as alien in their perspective as possible. The Northman doesn’t invite its viewers into its world, but instead dares them to try to catch up.
everything else about this film is incredible. The lighting is dark and atmospheric, creating a natural look to the film like when characters use fire as a light source. Along with that, the camera work is mesmerizing and precise. The score is also grand and heavy as if you’re hearing the beating drums coming over the hillside.

Impossible to turn away from, this movie has style and substance. There’s also a general theme of revenge and the cyclical nature of violence. The movie depicts violence in a gruesome and disgusting way, always showing how brutal it can be. Using this, the film presents the theme of how violence creates more violence, and the only way to squash it all together is to eliminate every source of it. The Northman is a great film. It uses every aspect of itself to present this story, from the acting to the camera work. It might be gruesome, violent and barbaric, but it is a well-crafted revenge film fit for Valhalla.


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