The Northman

The Northman ★★★★½

In this overwhelming landscape of homogenised, crowd-pleasing blockbuster sludge, it’s miraculous that any studio would entrust a ninety million dollar budget to a young auteur as experimental as Robert Eggers. It’s a joy to see his stylistic trademarks imprinted on a film of such epic scope, through his striking cinematography and meticulous attention to detail regarding Norse mythology and Viking traditions. He manages to capture the same sense of eerie mysticism present in The Lighthouse, but on a grander scale, frequently blurring the line between history and myth, between reality and the occult.

The Northman flouts the preconceptions of a period-piece blockbuster, enveloping the audience in a dreary, unforgiving world where betrayal is met with violence, and violence with betrayal. The cyclical nature of revenge is central to this Shakespearean tragedy - one hateful act begets another, until man becomes beast in the quest for vengeance.

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