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The Northman - Viking revenge film from Robert Eggers


Captain Kelsten
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Viking tale of revenge starring Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Defoe, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor Joy and…Bjork?

 

Skarsgard plays the main character, the “Northman”, who cuts a path of bloody vengeance after his family are killed/captured. Maybe it’ll be a prequel to True Blood, explaining how Eric Northman came to be a night club owning vampire? Perhaps not. 
 

Directed by Robert Eggers, who also did Witch (VVitch?) and the Lighthouse. 

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More action driven than i expected, but then it is just a trailer. Robert Eggers on the Roger Deakins podcast said if he couldn't do historical films he wouldn't want to do anything. He was asked if he would do a sci fi film and said no because he'd just end up ripping off all the classics.

 

Don't really see Ethan Hawke in these types of films, he's done period films and westerns but going through his filmography couldn't find any in the middle ages.

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  • 3 months later...

Well up for this. 

 

Didn’t love Lighthouse as much as I thought but Witch is a ten. Glad to see it’s getting good buzz, this will hopefully be my first of his I’ll see in the cinema. Newborn permitting.

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On 07/04/2022 at 15:44, Sarlaccfood said:

Well up for this. 

 

Didn’t love Lighthouse as much as I thought but Witch is a ten. Glad to see it’s getting good buzz, this will hopefully be my first of his I’ll see in the cinema. Newborn permitting.

Take newborn and go to a parent and baby showing!

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Watched this today and thought it was amazing and now my current favourite film of the year.

 

If anyone was worried that Eggers might stray away from his style after being given such a big budget, fear not. This fully leans into the craziness of Viking rituals as well as Norse folklore and mythology. It isn't just a standard "normal" historical thriller, there's drug induced madness, witches, visions of valkeries and all manner of other things, brought to us in true Eggers style. Very much akin to how The Lighthouse gave us those weird out of body experiences for the characters, you get that here also.

 

The visuals and sound are stunning, the dialogue is fantastic and his commitment to try and keep period accuracy is really appreciated. I fear many people are going to go into this thinking they're going to get a fairly run of the mill Viking film, maybe something like to the TV shows Vikings (although that occasionally leaned into the mythology and rituals) and The Last Kingdom. But it isn't like those at all. There are obviously elements of them that are simular, mainly due to the setting and being about Viking people, but that's where the similarities end. This is very much a Viking tale told through the lens of Robert Eggers and if you've seen The Lighthouse, that should give you an idea of what's in store.

 

I know there was some studio interferences and changes made after test screen audiences were left confused with some of the mythology but it still feels like Eggers didn't have to compromise his style too much to please them, his vision still shines through. For instance how he presents witches and rituals or how he frames people with close ups of the camera, so close to their faces they're almost speaking directly to the audience. It's such a striking visual.

 

The cast are all brilliant, especially Kidman, who is outstanding. Skarsgard is also stellar in the lead role and so enthralling.

 

I really hope the studio interference doesn't put him off doing other big budget films, because even though his indie stuff will still likely be amazing, it'd be nice to get both sides of the coin from him.

 

Overall, The Northamn was brutal, bloody, psychedelic and epic in scale with a striking finale. I cant wait to see what's next from Eggers.

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2 hours ago, Sidewaysbob said:

When you say bloody, are we talking horror fest blood guts and gore glorification ? 

Or is it more game of thrones battle damage. 

 

 

 

Spoiler

More like GOT. Head chopped off, axes being smashed into bodies, intestines spilling out. Its not like Saw/Hostel glorification of gore, just general sword and axe wounds you get in historical pieces.

 

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Just got back and thought it was good but not great.

 

The pacing was all over the place and more like a series of vignettes than a coherent whole. The script was pretty bad in places too.
 

Big plus was the cinematography and the costumes which were brilliant.

 

 

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I think Eggers is great at period detail and atmosphere, but he can’t write characters or dialogue for toffee. This was more plotty than most of his other films, but still very simplistic and a bit of a trudge for me. The village invasion scene with Skarsgard going full beast mode was fucking great, and I think I assumed there’d be a lot more of that in the film than there was (I.e almost none). 

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Just got out of this.  Was really really good, but not quite the 5 out of 5 I was hoping for.  A slightly longer runtime, with a little more complexity in plot, would have made this perfect.  What there was though, was really bloody good - Eggers' big brass balls delivered again!  Major video game vibes, especially when 

Spoiler

he went to get the sword.

Come to think of it, I would bloody love a AAA action adventure game or RPG of this tone and manner.  Some have got a little way there, but haven't gone far enough.

 

4.5

Still brilliant!  I just wanted that little bit more.  Go see!

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