The Northman

The Northman ★★★★½

Loose notes before I go to bed:

-I wonder what scenes they cut in order to make the film not feel like "you had to have a degree on Viking lore to understand it."

-Fast-paced. It's probably the "fastest" film Eggers has ever made. There are moments in the films where I feel like it skims past. More development would've earned certain story beats such as a romance.

-I agree that people think this is his most accessible, but in a sense that it's the least "abstract". I think what the symbolism and supernatural imagery meant is much more explicit compared to his earlier works, especially The Lighthouse where it's more open to interpretation. The Northman has the least depth. I feel like I get most of the film in one viewing, as opposed to The Witch and The Lighthouse where there's a lot more going on thematically. Not necessarily a bad thing.

-This movie is brutal as hell. Who the hell said this was bloodless? For Robert Eggers, accessible also has limits.

-I really like how Eggers frames and shows the violence and gore in just a few seconds or maybe obscure it a bit in shadows; instead, they mostly show the perpetrator and the motion of how he commits the act. It feels more effective and disturbing to leave a bit in the imagination or when the gruesome details don't overstay their welcome.

-Skarsgard is a behemoth. I could not take away my eyes off him. What a monstrous and (at times) vulnerable performance.

-It's so exciting to see Eggers, Blaschke and the rest of the crew grow and improve their craft.

-Still have the recency bias so I have to sit on it for a while. But I really love this movie. Immersive, jaw-dropping and spectacular. Can't wait to see this again. Favorite film of 2021 so far for me.

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