The Northman

The Northman ★★★★½

Densely layered, visually stunning epic from Robert Eggers does not disappoint, depicting the story that inspired Shakespeare to write Hamlet, finding the right balance between storytelling, characterization, stylization, and the raw, primeval nature in the history of humanity.  The story also brings the character arc of Gladiator to mind, and it’s easy to root for someone who’s trying to avenge a tragic loss.  
        The overall direction is so precisely particular about all its choices, interfusing all the technical pieces into one mesmeric mosaic.  Eggers has such a commitment to specificity in both visuals and narrative, much like Tarkovsky, and there’s a similar feel of awe-inducing wonder to the combination of images and storytelling elements.  It really felt like being transported to that exact moment in time, creating a sense of immediacy that resonates through the entire experience.  
         The acting is superb from all involved, a true ensemble piece that collaboratively creates one cohesive reality.  Everyone is working in top form here, and you can clearly see that everyone bought into, and fully understands, Eggers’ vision.  There are some slight pacing issues towards the end of the second act, but they are more than made up for by the final act’s climactic fight sequence.  
         Definitely a film I will be revisiting in years to come, to pick up on things I may have missed, and to fully appreciate the dedication involved in its execution.

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