bigbaldust’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Northman is one of the most anticipated movie on this year for me. After hearing the news where Robert Eggers pissed of by the studio interference to this movie, I already lowered my expectation towards this movie. I just can't believe it's still not enough.
The opening sequence. That was horrible. It felt like nothing. I don't know about you guys, but I really don't like every aspect on the first sequence/act. First because it felt really rushed, second because there's no feeling towards the character whatsoever, third because of the bad performance from the kid and some of character, and fourth because some of unrealistic moment like when young Amleth got escaped from the forest, the crowd, and the island. The only best part from that act maybe just when King Aurvadill (Ethan Hawke), Heimir (Willem Dafoe), and the child doing ritual.
The actions. I really like the action in the second act towards the end, especially the battle on the volcano mountain. But the first action where adult Amleth fighting in the village with the vikings. At some points it's good, but also at some points it's bad. Maybe if the side-characters on the fight giving more realistic and better performance it could be good. Alexander Skarsgård was top notch.
The performances. I think the highlight on this movie is the best three performance in my opinion, Alexander Skarsgård as Amleth, Claes Bang as Fjölnir, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga. I would also add Nicole Kidman but her performance just started good when she met adult Amleth. And Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Björk, and Gustav Lindh as Thórir for the small roles on this movie. Hell the kid who's playing Gunnar was more better than the kid who's playing young Amleth.
The cinematography and the scoring. If only they expand more of the cinematography on this movie, it would be so good, such a waste for beautiful place and beautiful sky for just like that. Sometimes I too think that the cinematography on the faces of the actors just didn't click. But I would give my respect for the boat-sailing in the storm scene, it was so fucking cool. The scoring was really good. Love the humming, the songs, the drums, and the musics. it feels really like in the vikings era. Haha.
Well maybe that's it.
Also, after watching The Lighthouse and The Northman I really hoping Robert Eggers would make a movie about pirates or sailors. I don't know. Just take place in the fucking sea! I bet it would be so cool.