The Northman

The Northman ★★★

It's doubtful if I would survive for very long in a world such as Robert Egger's The Northman. In either of his three movies to date for that matter. It's hard to imagine of course, as I sit in comfort with all the perks of modern living. But that rough, cold and cruel landscape, which extends to the behaviour of people too, is really not my time and place.
There's no question that Eggers has, once again, created a very authentic environment, depicting harsh realities and hard-edged individuals.
It's a great cast too; yet most have limited screen time (Hawke, Dafoe, *Björk), whereas others simply aren't given much to do (Kidman, Taylor-Joy - though fans of Joy may have a different opinion).
Skarsgård certainly steals the show, as does, surprisingly, Claes Bang, who was well ripped for someone in his 50s, who's mostly known for playing prim and classy blokes throughout his career.

A tale of vengeance that sits firmly in the grey area, because there's no outright good guys and bad guys here. Everyone follows the sounds of their own trumpet in a lawless era; morality be damned.
You'd think it's all about staying true to only brotherhood and kin, but even that breaks down when things go awry.
Any sense of right and wrong is largely absent in The Northman, a virtuous direction that's rarely honoured as a ways of life. Though Skarsgård's Amleth character does try, to be fair.

Best scene is surely the duel in the nude at dusk, beneath an active volcano and surrounded by lava. That was pretty hardcore, even by Viking standards.

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