Entertainment

The Northman review: “A truly distinctive, unmissable epic”

You’d be forgiven for thinking its uniquely twisted sensibilities might have been watered down, given the increased scale and, importantly, budget that Viking epic The Northman represents for director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse ). first photo in the studio.

Luckily, within the first 10 minutes, there’s a screaming, hallucinatory initiation into a damp cabin that allays any fears that it’s Diet Eggers. It’s one of many moments that will leave you in awe of just how weird Eggers has managed to sneak up on.

Based on the Icelandic story of Prince Amleth, which also inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Northman blends that story with Norse myths to create a 10th-century original. The ritual mentioned is a bonding experience between the recently returned King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke) and his younger son Amleth (Oscar Novak). Before giving more spoilers, King Fjölnir’s half-brother (Claes Bang, BBC’s Dracula) ambushed and killed Aurvandil, taking Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman) for himself and inheriting the island kingdom of Hrafnsey .

Witnessing this rebellion, Amleth escapes by boat, chanting his newly minted mantra: “I will avenge you, father; I will save you mother; I will kill you, Fjölnir. A few years later, when we met him, he transformed into the robust form of Alexander Skarsgård and began to exist in the Russian kingdom as a frenzied entity, raiding villages as if it were a sport.

Skarsgård showcases his career performance so far; In every sense of beast mode, its commander, beastly presence, and unwavering dedication to revenge drives the story forward. The first act is dominant, staged piecemeal as Amleth and his crew surround a wooden village. A series of mud, blood and long shots make for exhilarating action. The brutality on display – and cruelty to the village’s weaker inhabitants – is just another way to feel Eggers uncompromisingly for more mainstream entertainment.

After this pressure, Amleth directs his energies towards his quest for revenge and leaves for Iceland and the farm where Fjölnir has settled. Acting like a slave, Amleth’s all-consuming mission turns into an undercover mission as she systematically attempts to right the wrongs committed against her father. .

Adding to the feeling that this is an Eggers film is the return of some repertoire actors, including Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch as a Slave Woman, Olga of the Birch Woods. Taylor-Joy’s combination of ethereal grace and ingenious endurance is put to good use and once again proves to be a natural fit for any timeline.

Other Eggers actors include Willem Dafoe as the court jester and cameos from Kate Dickie and Ralph Ineson. You can’t help but want more, especially Björk’s fascinating but brief return as a witch, but that’s the thrust of the film.

Increasing the scale requires named actors, and here Hawke and Kidman provide A-list weights as Amleth’s parents. Despite his short screen time, Hawke makes a lasting impression, and Kidman – who at first threatened to play a thankless role – earns a surprising amount as things get worse. They both have rebellious overtones, however, it adds to the otherworldly tone already up to 11 through a thunderous soundtrack and rudimentary visuals.

A large volcano looms in the background, parting in a story that sounds like a cough from the center of the Earth. The night scenes have a monochromatic simplicity and the bloody paintings are arranged by an artist’s hand. While we’re never given much context, the parts of this world we roam are full of detail, from agricultural hierarchy to woven fabrics to ships on display. Ultraviolet is a proto-crosse thrill game. A

And throughout, Viking mythos are woven into the film’s DNA: prophecies, arterial family trees and a magically grafted sword are as real as lush landscapes; Valhöll feels approachable as a neighboring country.

For a seemingly straightforward tale of revenge, The Northman doesn’t shy away from uncertainty as it considers the cost of Amleth’s grudge and the nature of this hero’s journey. If this makes reading difficult, fear not; perhaps the most impressive thing of all is how relentlessly entertaining it is. Although it starts at 137 minutes, there are no gaps or lost scenes. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a full-scale Robert Eggers Viking movie. And a cinematic rarity to savor.


Northman hits UK theaters on April 15 and US theaters on April 22. For more, check out the most exciting movies to come.


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The Northman review: “A truly distinctive, unmissable epic”

Given the step up in scale – and, crucially, budget – that Viking epic The Northman represents for director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse), you’d be forgiven for thinking that his uniquely twisted sensibilities might have been watered down for his first studio picture.
Thankfully, there’s a howling, hallucinatory initiation ceremony in a dank shack within the first 10 minutes that quells any fear that this is Diet Eggers. It’s one of many moments throughout to make you marvel at the idiosyncratic oddness Eggers has managed to smuggle in.
Adapted from the Icelandic tale of Prince Amleth – which also inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet – The Northman blends that story with Norse myths to create a 10th-century original. The aforementioned ritual is a bonding experience between the recently returned King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke) and his young son, Amleth (Oscar Novak). Before you can say spoiler warning, the king’s half-brother Fjölnir (Claes Bang, BBC’s Dracula) has ambushed and killed Aurvandil, claimed Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman) for himself, and assumed the throne of the island kingdom of Hrafnsey.
Witnessing this revolt, Amleth flees by boat, chanting his newly minted mantra: “I will avenge you father; I will save you mother; I will kill you Fjölnir.” When we pick up with him some years later, he’s grown into the hulking form of Alexander Skarsgård, and has been carving out an existence as a berserker in the Land of the Rus, raiding villages like it’s sport.
Skarsgård delivers what might be the performance of his career so far; in beast mode in every sense, his commanding, animalistic presence and unwavering commitment to vengeance drive the story forward. An act-one raid is a set-piece standout, as Amleth and crew lay siege to a wooden village. A sequence of mud, blood and extended takes, it’s an exhilarating piece of action. The brutality on display – and the mercilessness shown towards the village’s weaker inhabitants – is yet another way in which it doesn’t feel like Eggers is making concessions for a more mainstream entertainment.
Following this raid, Amleth redirects his energies to his revenge quest, heading to Iceland and the farm Fjölnir has settled in. Posing as a slave, Amleth’s all-consuming mission becomes one of infiltration, as he methodically works towards righting the wrongs against his father.
Adding to the feeling of this being an Eggers picture is the return of some of his repertory players, most significantly The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy as an enslaved woman, Olga of the Birch Forest. Taylor-Joy’s combination of ethereal grace and resourceful hardiness are well utilized, and once again, she proves a natural fit for any timeline.
Other Eggers players include Willem Dafoe as the court jester, and cameos from Kate Dickie and Ralph Ineson. You can’t help wanting more of some of them, particularly Björk’s mesmerizing but brief turn as a witch, but such is the forward momentum of the film.
The step-up in scale necessitates name actors, and here Hawke and Kidman provide the A-list gravitas as Amleth’s parents. Despite minimal screentime, Hawke makes a lasting impression and Kidman – in what initially threatens to be a thankless role – gets a surprising amount to do as things escalate. Both have wayward accents but, if anything, this adds to the otherworldly tone already cranked up to 11 by a thunderous soundtrack and primordial visuals.
A volcano looms large in the background, fitting for a story that feels coughed up from the center of the Earth. Nighttime scenes have a monochrome starkness, and bloody tableaus are arranged with an artist’s hand. Though we’re never given a huge amount of context, the parts of this world we traverse feel rife with detail, from the farmhand hierarchy, to the woven fabrics, to the ships on display. An ultraviolent game of proto-lacrosse thrills. A
And throughout, Viking mythos is baked into the film’s DNA: prophecies, arterial family trees, and a magically infused sword are as real as the lush landscapes; Valhöll feels within reach like a neighboring country.
For an outwardly straightforward revenge tale, The Northman doesn’t shy away from ambiguity, as it considers the cost of Amleth’s grudge, and the nature of this hero’s journey. If that makes it sound like difficult viewing, fear not; perhaps the most impressive aspect of all is how relentlessly entertaining it is. Despite clocking in at 137 mins,  there’s no slack here, and not a wasted scene. It’s exactly what you want from a big-scale Robert Eggers Viking film. And it’s a cinematic rarity to be savored.
The Northman is in UK cinemas April 15 and US theaters from April 22. For more, check out the most exciting upcoming movies heading your way.

#Northman #review #distinctive #unmissable #epic

The Northman review: “A truly distinctive, unmissable epic”

Given the step up in scale – and, crucially, budget – that Viking epic The Northman represents for director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse), you’d be forgiven for thinking that his uniquely twisted sensibilities might have been watered down for his first studio picture.
Thankfully, there’s a howling, hallucinatory initiation ceremony in a dank shack within the first 10 minutes that quells any fear that this is Diet Eggers. It’s one of many moments throughout to make you marvel at the idiosyncratic oddness Eggers has managed to smuggle in.
Adapted from the Icelandic tale of Prince Amleth – which also inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet – The Northman blends that story with Norse myths to create a 10th-century original. The aforementioned ritual is a bonding experience between the recently returned King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke) and his young son, Amleth (Oscar Novak). Before you can say spoiler warning, the king’s half-brother Fjölnir (Claes Bang, BBC’s Dracula) has ambushed and killed Aurvandil, claimed Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman) for himself, and assumed the throne of the island kingdom of Hrafnsey.
Witnessing this revolt, Amleth flees by boat, chanting his newly minted mantra: “I will avenge you father; I will save you mother; I will kill you Fjölnir.” When we pick up with him some years later, he’s grown into the hulking form of Alexander Skarsgård, and has been carving out an existence as a berserker in the Land of the Rus, raiding villages like it’s sport.
Skarsgård delivers what might be the performance of his career so far; in beast mode in every sense, his commanding, animalistic presence and unwavering commitment to vengeance drive the story forward. An act-one raid is a set-piece standout, as Amleth and crew lay siege to a wooden village. A sequence of mud, blood and extended takes, it’s an exhilarating piece of action. The brutality on display – and the mercilessness shown towards the village’s weaker inhabitants – is yet another way in which it doesn’t feel like Eggers is making concessions for a more mainstream entertainment.
Following this raid, Amleth redirects his energies to his revenge quest, heading to Iceland and the farm Fjölnir has settled in. Posing as a slave, Amleth’s all-consuming mission becomes one of infiltration, as he methodically works towards righting the wrongs against his father.
Adding to the feeling of this being an Eggers picture is the return of some of his repertory players, most significantly The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy as an enslaved woman, Olga of the Birch Forest. Taylor-Joy’s combination of ethereal grace and resourceful hardiness are well utilized, and once again, she proves a natural fit for any timeline.
Other Eggers players include Willem Dafoe as the court jester, and cameos from Kate Dickie and Ralph Ineson. You can’t help wanting more of some of them, particularly Björk’s mesmerizing but brief turn as a witch, but such is the forward momentum of the film.
The step-up in scale necessitates name actors, and here Hawke and Kidman provide the A-list gravitas as Amleth’s parents. Despite minimal screentime, Hawke makes a lasting impression and Kidman – in what initially threatens to be a thankless role – gets a surprising amount to do as things escalate. Both have wayward accents but, if anything, this adds to the otherworldly tone already cranked up to 11 by a thunderous soundtrack and primordial visuals.
A volcano looms large in the background, fitting for a story that feels coughed up from the center of the Earth. Nighttime scenes have a monochrome starkness, and bloody tableaus are arranged with an artist’s hand. Though we’re never given a huge amount of context, the parts of this world we traverse feel rife with detail, from the farmhand hierarchy, to the woven fabrics, to the ships on display. An ultraviolent game of proto-lacrosse thrills. A
And throughout, Viking mythos is baked into the film’s DNA: prophecies, arterial family trees, and a magically infused sword are as real as the lush landscapes; Valhöll feels within reach like a neighboring country.
For an outwardly straightforward revenge tale, The Northman doesn’t shy away from ambiguity, as it considers the cost of Amleth’s grudge, and the nature of this hero’s journey. If that makes it sound like difficult viewing, fear not; perhaps the most impressive aspect of all is how relentlessly entertaining it is. Despite clocking in at 137 mins,  there’s no slack here, and not a wasted scene. It’s exactly what you want from a big-scale Robert Eggers Viking film. And it’s a cinematic rarity to be savored.
The Northman is in UK cinemas April 15 and US theaters from April 22. For more, check out the most exciting upcoming movies heading your way.

#Northman #review #distinctive #unmissable #epic


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