The Northman

The Northman ★★★★★

As a ginormous fan of Eggers’ previous two films, grievances and concerns from the knowledge of studio interference and a rough post-production were unavoidable. Some editing moments in the film that stifle the narrative are there, like the obvious ADR and a few instances of wonky CGI; but to a great degree, the lighting, the sound design, and the performances in each and every scene complement the narrative’s immersion so well that it becomes easy to overlook the minor technical imperfections in the thrill of the moment.

The scenes in Old Norse are so insane I wish the entire film was spoken that way. Yet, the way Robert Eggers and Sjón embedded Old English into the Slavic setting was a clever workaround. It’s incredible how practically no one in the mid-budget landscape is this daring to deliver a period piece this satisfyingly trippy, esoteric, and bizarre. Just the daunting beat of a viking drum that harmoniously animates the impetus of Amleth (as he dilates his already intimidating traps) is enough to fuel the barbaric atmosphere and battle-cry adrenaline into the audience almost tangibly. The visceral impact from such makes for one of the most surreal and arresting moviegoing experiences I've felt in a long time. 

This is a Robert Eggers vision through and through, and the Night Blade was fed exquisitely.

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