The Northman

The Northman ★★★★

The wolf is full grown now, and he hungers for the rest.

Hamlet’s Vinland Saga. I’m still confused as to why A24 dropped the ball on an Eggers film (and supposedly isn’t doing much to also get Nosferatu on the way), but it’s still very much in line with their usual output—specially making for an excellent double feature with The Green Knight. If you want a spiritual journey that resonates with you, take the green pill; for the more action packed and direct route, take the northern path. That said, The Northman for all its grand beauty, myriad long take, and vicious yet never out of hand practical violence, is still a basic story when broken down; for better or worse given your wants, it never gets bogged down by any subplot of mourning and woe is me along the path. It remains focused on killing and getting revenge. It’s Eggers’ most straightforward and “mainstream” film to date, which on paper, should get more people to watch it—especially with the vast popularity of Viking culture in pop culture from shows, games, and anime. Skarsgård is great as a towering vengeful beast of a man hungry for flesh and gore, but I think Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicole Kidman’s smaller supporting roles were the scene stealers for me. William Dafoe is memorable for the screentime he’s given, but he was clearly just here out of passion for Eggers. I do think the aforementioned Vinland Saga tells this almost identical story better, but for all intents and purposes this is a very good shortened live-action variant. 

The Lighthouse is still his best, but it’s safe to say Eggers continues his streak. He’d also probably make a really good Beowulf


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