Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Northman (2022)

Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: The Northman (2022)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Length: 2h 17min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: New Regency Productions, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Perfect World Pictures, Square Peg, Focus Features, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures Argentina, Cinemundo, Tulip Entertainment, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Director: Robert Eggers
Writer: Robert Eggers, Sjón
Actors: Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Gustav Lindh, Elliott Rose, Willem Dafoe, Phill Martin, Eldar Skar, Olwen Fouéré, Edgar Abram, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Björk, Katie Pattinson, Ian Whyte
Blurb from IMDb: From visionary director Robert Eggers comes The Northman, an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father's murder.

Selina’s Point of View:
I remember the thrill I got watching the trailer for The Northman. The heavy Viking action, the stunning setting... I had seriously high hopes for it.
I love it when I movie goes even harder than I expected it to.
Robert Eggers (Brothers, The Witch, The Lighthouse) is a genius. He puts out nothing but amazing work. His full-length directorial credits don’t include much (yet), but there is not a dud among them. In about a decade or two, I think he might be hailed as the best director of his time… maybe all time. He is not afraid of the dark, not afraid of taking risking, and he listens to his actors, which allows them to fully become their characters. He will be a giant that inspires the next generation of filmmakers. I have no doubt in my mind.  

Dark fantasy is my favorite thing. I read it, I watch, I write it. The Northman hit hard for me. That said, I don’t think you need to be a fan of the genre to enjoy it. The fight choreography and the gorgeous cinematography could speak to anyone.
There were a few scenes that were extremely difficult to watch, though. You might not need to be a fantasy, or even an action, fan to enjoy The Northman, but you need to be able to handle dark themes.
The Northman is about as good as it gets. I couldn’t come up with anything I disliked about it if I tried. I even rewound to check and see if something in the beginning matched up with something said near the end – and it absolutely did.
The Northman is only streaming on Peacock. If you don’t have it, now is a good time to get it.

Cat’s Point of View:
The Northman was unequivocally a masterpiece of ancient Viking storytelling. It was gorgeous, atmospheric, visceral, and transported me back in time to the age of fair-haired marauders in long boats. There was so much to love in this imagining of Norse legend.
It was a brilliant call to choose the legend of Amleth for Robert Eggers’ next film. While I understand his lament over not having ultimate control over the final cut, the end product was breathtaking. This is the story that is said to have inspired Shakespeare to write Hamlet. It’s a story that easily captures an audience’s attention, and it’s full of twists and turns. I hadn’t realized this parallel was an actual connection between the two stories and remember thinking that there was an eerie resemblance as I was watching The Northman unfold.
It was absolutely no stroke of luck, but the hand of fate that had Alexander Skarsgård (Mute, Hold the Dark, Big Little Lies) helming the cast as the titular lead. It was his impassioned campaigning to Eggers for a Viking movie that put the wheels in motion to bring The Northman into reality. Ultimately, it’s easy to say that this was a role that Skarsgård was born to play.

The cast was brilliant. Nicole Kidman (Queen of the Desert, The Beguiled, Bombshell) embodied the role of a fierce Scandinavian queen. Ethan Hawke (Sinister, Tesla, The Black Phone) delivered a gritty performance as Amleth’s father. Anya Taylor-Joy (Marrowbone, The Queen's Gambit, Last Night in Soho) was an ethereal delight as the earth-witch pillaged from what is now modern-day Ukraine.
The Northman’s tale was brutal and unflinching. It certainly wouldn’t be for the faint of heart, considering all the bone-crunching, blood, and gut-spilling that occurred on the screen. I was fairly giddy, however, at the level of historical accuracy and attention to detail put into this production. The story was steeped in Norse mythology and Viking warfare – with a hearty dose of vengeance. Like its latter-day successor, Hamlet, the legend of Amleth is a cautionary tale about that very revenge. The saying that “an eye for an eye leaves the world blind” very much so applies.
The cinematography was incredible. It wasn’t just the gorgeous visuals that were captured that were impressive. There were so many long takes of single camera shots, which spoke to a great deal of stamina for both actors and crew alike. Thinking of re-shooting multiple takes of some of those action scenes with the battles just made me tired on their behalf.
I will say that The Northman wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea. There were a few stretches that felt a little on the slower end. I’ll counter, though, that those islands of calm were a much-needed balance of relief to the intensity of the rest of the narrative. If you’re a fan of Viking lore or even just action movies, The Northman would be right up your alley and I would give my hearty recommendation for it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 64%
Metascore – 82%
Metacritic User Score – 7.3
IMDB Score – 7.2/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 4.5/5
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment