The Northman; Grade: B+
The Northman tells a story about a Young Viking Prince named Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard), whom was bound to take the throne after his father King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke). Unfortunately King Aurvandil was betrayed by his brother Fjolnir (Claes Bang) as he murdered his own brother, however Amleth was able to escape from being murdered himself as a young boy. Now Amleth seeks to avenge his fathers death, by posing as a slave hoping to catch Fjolnir off guard and to execute a plan to successfully murder him.
The Northman was obviously one of my most anticipated films of this year by far. Let alone Robert Eggers has had quite a successful resume with The Witch and The Lighthouse, making him one of the most fascinating directors considering his films bring back a classical style in cinema we miss seeing. But the posters let alone gives an indication that this is going to be a brutal bad ass Viking period film. It caught me off guard this film had a massive production budget, so I was extremely excited what Eggers could do with a massive budget, to where he can execute his vision properly. This was my last film watched before I moved away from Florida (I Know I’m a Dumbass for leaving, I will be coming back ASAP), as I couldn’t wait another day to see this film.
The Northman may not be my favorite film from Eggers as I thought The Lighthouse remains to be his best film, however Eggers once again delivers!
The Northman follows a traditional old school style revenge story, that compliments an authentic brutal Viking period piece along with it. Eggers does not shy away from delivering brutal gore violence, as when those sequences are presented, they surely deliver as far as entertainment value speaking. The story is well written, sure it follows the basics in terms of revenge story wise however still remains fairly fresh as Eggers delivers a unique style to offer on the table, where it differs from previous revenge stories. Which I would the whole element of Amleth fleeing his tribe, to poise as a slave after over hearing he can take down whom killed his father… Was a pretty awesome and different approach to execute a unique revenge story.
The Northman is a visually stunning film, the locations and shots were quite fabulous, I really enjoyed the shots where the woman flies up towards the light with her flying horse especially. The composed Score was pretty effective, I recall myself getting into the music in some sequences as the upbeat tempo was fun. The cast all in all was quite excellent as a whole, Eggers proves once again he can generate terrific out of body like performances from just about everyone.
The Northman does have a couple flaws. There are some pacing issues here and there, as I did felt some sequences were slow in pacing. I also felt the mythical aspect in terms of sorcery was inconsistent. Like majority of the film has this realistic approach to it, then out of nowhere it has these sorcery magical moments that don’t line up well. One defense could be that Amleth and his father were heavily into some kind of wolf power ordeal, so maybe mentally speaking that’s how they were feeling at the moment, however I still felt it was just inconsistent to where it felt off putting for the most part.
Overall, The Northman was a pretty damn good film. I highly recommend checking this one out, it’s better suited for a theatrical experience I will say so myself. Man 2022 has delivered some BANGERS that is hard to rank at the moment. Between this film, Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Outfit, and X… It’s been struggle to properly rank these films, all so damn GOOD! -Mitch Smietana