nicole ❦’s review published on Letterboxd:
Last film for April! Was joined by my dear friend Lachlan for this this Scandi hyper-masculine journey 🥰 I rarely bring friends to the cinemas, but I had a thrill with this when I offered up the invite last minute! (and a kind reminder that the best experiences are when you sneak your friends into the cinema for free 🤫)
My second Robert Eggers film is a far cry from his magnum opus, The Lighthouse. Not to say that there is nothing to appreciate in this work. The Northman is a neat little adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet — although I never studied Hamlet during high school, I’m inclined to believe that Eggers took a few liberties with its source material. What sells this film is Egger’s detail-oriented production and commitment to cultural and historical accuracies, and as we know from The Lighthouse, he flourishes well in that department. It’s perhaps safe to assume that some of the Scandinavian music are known compositions from the time period, or at least a very faithful rendition of that style.
Other than these aesthetic commitments, this was a very standard film for THE BOYSSSS!!!!1!1!1! If I had to be honest, the first thirty minutes of the film promised me a riveting narrative to come, but in hindsight I think I was just gee’d up by seeing elements from The Lighthouse appear — from Willem Dafoe’s weirdness, to uhhh, farting ?? A deeply abject work, no doubt that seeing some gruesome gore and blood is emblematic of Vikings and their brutality. Everything else was fairly mid to me, and I don’t think I could see myself enjoying this alone. My friend commented that one of the sequences reminded him of a perfume commercial lol? Must be all that whispering. Seeing Bjork was pretty cool though, even if it was a little brief.
Short and sweet, but I’ll be writing up about this work more for a film critic lab application (my friend also commented on the large amount of FILM BROS !!!!1!1!1 present at the screening, so I think that says a lot about the demographic it attracts lol?) The Northman is commendable for its production value, and although it pales in comparison to The Lighthouse, I still continue looking forward to Eggers’ next projects. April has been a weird month in film, but I’m glad I was able to find a few gems these past four weeks — here’s to a new month of good kino to come!