The Northman

The Northman ★★★★

I'll have to remember in the future to BURP and FART if someone ever wants me to prove that I'm not a dog.

To be frank: while I found The Witch (or The VVtch, as some demand it be called) to be great, my reaction to The Lighthouse was much more meh, which was not the fault of Pattison or Dafoe. “Cautious optimism” was my opinion going in. There definitely are some interesting wide release films this April, and “the big one” I may finally check out next week, but seeing something that reminded me of the awesome Skyrim at times just from the trailer (which was fulfilled) was enough to entice me.

The story is basically Hamlet. It's not really a spoiler as it's based on the Scandinavian legend of Amleth, which Shakespeare used for Hamlet. A king is murdered by his brother and his young son escapes. For years he's been wanting revenge and he finally has the opportunity to as an adult. Of course, this movie has pretentious moments and overall wants to be more than “just a revenge movie”. I did not always love those pretentious moments although they weren't automatically rejected by me either. From the trailers I knew there would be mystical moments—there was more of that than expected.

It is a rather dark tale and for various reasons, it's not a stunning revelation that the general public's reaction to the movie is far more mixed than among us dorks on Letterboxd. Even if I do prefer The Witch, it was still a treat to see this on a huge Dolby Cinema screen. The performances, the cast, the great score, the shot compositions, the lovely yet barren wastelands that comprise the majority of the film... I was happy to watch this Viking movie featuring graphic moments, people going berserker, big F'ing swords & what sounded like blackened death metal vocals at times to satisfy me.

If it did seem to drag at times, God Bless those that allowed us to have Robert Eggers release a big budget epic featuring serious themes revolving around how revenge and hatred can consume people... hopefully it does at least OK at the box office. One last thing: Bjork's participation in this is rather, well, limited. That said, if someone told me that the outfit she dons for her scant screen time was straight out of her closet... I'd believe it!

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