Lewis666🥢🍜’s review published on Letterboxd:
I will avenge you Father.
I will save you Mother.
I will kill you Fjölnir.
895 AD. The great King Aurvandill War Raven has returned to his strong kingdom on the Irish Coast after his tiresome conquests overseas, reunited with his wife Queen Gudrún and their son and rightful heir to the throne, Prince Amleth. With the King returning injured from battle, he makes the bold choice to temporarily bestow his responsibilities on Amleth in a spiritual ceremony. Overseen by the King's good friend Heimir. The following morning after some father and son bonding, King Aurvandill is brutally attacked by mysterious masked warriors, as Amleth is told to run he looks on from afar. The head of the warriors reveals himself to be Prince Amleth's Uncle, Fjölnir. Who strikes the killing blow on his own brother, his own flesh and blood. The King is dead, and they turn their attention now to Amleth and the unfortunate villagers.. Slaughtering them all like animals. Blades piercing the flesh of the innocent. With Fjölnir forcefully taking the Queen as his new bride. Amleth manages to escape and after all these years is presumed dead. Until the time is perfectly precise to fulfill his rageful oath of vengeance... He will avenge his Father. He will save his Mother... And he will kill his Uncle!! No matter the ungodly cost of unfathomable bloodshed.
I have been sitting on this review all day, after seeing this movie earlier this morning. To say my hype for this movie was huge is pretty much an understatement, especially after the incredibly impressive trailer that blew me away. Not to mention films like this just rarely ever get made anymore. Now that the dust has finally settled, don't you just find it so unbelievably amazing that a film you've looked so forward to, delivers on everything you could have possibly hoped for? I am riding this Northman wave high.
The Northman is simply the most breathtaking movie I've seen this year. My eyes locked, glued to the screen like an arrow soaring straight through the cold air. My ears blessed with the sound of a powerful rhythm of an intense and dark score true to the Viking world and Norse Mythology. Amplifying the weight of vengeance, anger and violence. Speaking of, not a moment goes by that isn't visually satisfying when the carnage picks up. Never holding back the swords and axes piercing human flesh up close and personal, as if we ourselves were the ones to wield the bloodstained blade. Shot with beautifully long takes of epic drama and scale. The cinematography, the stunning locations, I was in awe and I never wanted to leave. The Northman is a visually striking movie that makes it hard to ever look away.
This might be Alexander Skarsgård's greatest performance in the history of his career. Some might be slightly disappointed our time isn't fully dedicated to the rest of the stellar case, such as Nicole Kidman who is still great respectfully. But this is Amleth's story, Amleth's journey, we feel his hatred build like a monster from the underworld, but he never allows it to control him. Carefully strategising every move to blend in for his revenge is too great to let slip. Alexander Skarsgård looks the part, he acts the part, he is the part. Ethan Hawke leaves a fantastic impression in the first act despite his naturally short role, I've been a big fan of his ever since I saw him in Sinister. It's always a treat when I see he's cast. Willem Dafoe too with a short role, he just loves these sort of side characters doesn't he? Probably has the only funny moment of the film during the celebration of the King's return. Claes Bang with a haunting presence as the main antagonist, Fjölnir. He is a man of few words, and let's his actions do the talking.. Treachery and all. There's a lot of facial expressions in The Northman, that tell a magnificent story without even saying a word. Lastly the beautiful Anya Taylor-Joy who brings her usual much welcomed energy to her role as Olga of the Birch Forest. Loved her in Split and The Witch.
Director Robert Eggers just might be one the absolute greatest directors of our modern era. That is now personally three for three 5 star rated movies in The Witch, The Lighthouse and now The Northman. His careful direction, unmatched pacing that never feels like it's treading off course, his attention to detail behind the camera, it all just works allowing it all to breathe and rewarding you with flairs of drama throughout. A magnificent professional. My only tiny criticism on the story though is one vital piece I predicted coming from quite far away. But everything was so masterfully executed with so much going on around it that I honestly didn't mind, swept up in the beautiful bloody chaos at hand.
The Northman is a damn near groundbreaking masterpiece of an epic historical action drama centered around one man's insatiable desire for revenge in its most darkest and brutal form. Conquering his fate with sword in hand prepared to suffocate all who oppose him on his path to kill the one man who took his entire life away from him. With a gloomy atmosphere soaking in the blood of the guilty.. All leading to its adrenaline fueled, heart pounding climax into the Gates Of Hel! Never to return until the deed is done. Goosebumps. Goosebumps. Goosebumps! Enthralling beyond belief. The Northman, is fucking riveting. 🖤
I WILL AVENGE YOU FATHER!
I WILL SAVE YOU MOTHER!!
I WILL KILL YOU FJÖLNIR!!!