Jonny’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’m the kind of person who gets nervous about dentist appointments so needless to say I probably wouldn’t have taken many breaths during Viking times. Luckily for me though there is a film called The Northman where I can immerse myself in the brutality and savagery of the era all from the comfort of my theatre seat.
I loved the lighthouse and I’m pretty indifferent to The Witch and I would say this sits firmly in the middle of the two for me.
On a pure experiential level this film is a masterwork. You truly feel like you are watching a Norse tale play out before your eyes. It’s bloody, dark, animalistic, and even a bit magical. Huge credit has to go to the technical aspects of the film as well as Eggers’ trademark period accurate dialogue.
I think where this falls short is in regards to take-aways. It doesn’t leave much of an emotional resonance other that sheer exhaustion and I’m not sure if there is a key message to be learned. Granted, I think in a story that punches this hard it would have been hard to work either of these elements in without possibly tampering with the tone. At least the images will continue to linger.