The Northman

The Northman ★★★★½

"Your fate is set and you cannot escape it."

The Northman is a wholly engrossing revenge epic with Eggers' typical attention to historical detail (even if, from the sound of recent interviews, not all of those details made it into the final cut). It's a brutal movie, and not just because the violence carries significant impact. The atmosphere of all-encompassing vengeance weighs down on every moment. While this film isn't a cut-and-dry horror movie along the lines of Eggers' last two films, it does maintain his tone. The Northman not only shows Eggers' versatility, but also that of his regular collaborator, cinematographer Jarin Blaschke. The Witch is full of muted woodland tones, and The Lighthouse is in stark black-and-white, but The Northman has brighter spots to it visually. Don't get me wrong, it's not a Technicolor dream, but I felt there was a bit more there. And let's not forget those immersive long shots.

Can't forget about the cast either. Everyone really nails it. I feel like I say that a lot, but here it's especially true. Nobody really slips up on the old, less-common accents. Everyone is 100% into it. There's greatness in every role.

I think the only thing that threw me a bit was the pace. I kept feeling like we were getting to the point where everything was going to explode only to get pushed back a little further. This might resolve itself on a second viewing now that I know the trajectory.

Pretty blown away by this. Side note: if that opening shot was bright and cheery with happy colors, that pan could come straight out of a Wes Anderson movie.

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