DeSvenster’s review published on Letterboxd:
A Vikingage tale of revenge seasoned like only Eggers could.
Not a blatant copy of the story of old and not quite the same as Saxo Grammaticus's interpretation. "The Northman" weaves bits and pieces of history and legend together, with a royal portion of poetic edda, to make it's own fascinating, brutal yet beautiful interpretation.
I was pleasantly surprised by Ethan Hawke, less so by Kidman's performance, but the towering Skarsgard and delightful Anya were, not to my surprise, terrific.
Sceptical at first, because an Eggers movie is either a hit or a miss for me. I was not the biggest fan of "The Witch" but I loved "The Lighthouse".
The first minutes of "The Northman" set the tone. Darkness, obviously. Gorgeous shots and a folksy, war drum and tagelharpa infused soundtrack...as it should.
Now I do not consider this spoiling anything, but during it's first act, Eggers made the choice for Shakespearean theatrics. I guess to make that link to Hamlet I suppose...and that had me worried for the remainder of the movie, but that feeling as the theatrics faded...luckily.
It's nothing more but a revenge story, really. Story-wise, it brings nothing new or original to the table. The beauty lies in it's exectution and presentation, often presented in a long-shot.
The originality lies in the way Eggers portrays the Northern mythology versus reality, which I thought was brilliant. The easter-eggs sprinkled througout the whole movie, from folk tales to the wanderers Havamal.
God versus God and the overly presence and symbolism of Odin...
I quite enjoyed it.