The Northman

The Northman ★★★★

Although I really liked Eggers two previous films, I'm not going to deny that it took a fair bit of adjustment on my part syncing with his style. Especially with The Lighthouse. Good to see him adopt a more accessible approach to the material here, although of course not by that much, still defying expectations as to what you may have thought you were going to get. Not quite delivering the epic scale it perhaps teased in the trailer, mostly taking place within the confines of a small island. I still liked the mix of its more conventional narrative with Robert's Egger-isms.
The most simple of revenge stories taking cues from Norse mythology is muddied with the human factor, subverting the hero's quest, leaving you a detached spectator unsure where your loyalties should lie. An earthy verisimilitude emenating from the characters, locations and production design lovingly and faithfully rendered putting you right in the mix.
Then there's the cast. All outstanding. I mean, this is proper "acting" isn't it. Played rather theatrically which seems right for a story like this, this is the sort of stuff a drama teacher would get you to watch when talking about inhabiting a roll. Acting lesson 1-01 stuff, such as howling like a wolf or crawling about like a dog not looking so stupid when portrayed with this level of craft.
Skarsgard is obviously great but Claes Bang is the real mvp here. I think the guy is seriously underrated and needs to be headlining more films.
A howl of approval from me.

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