The Northman

The Northman ★★★★

Spare but also overkill. I can see why Eggers' Viking epic won't work for everyone but I thought it was pretty astounding. Narratively, it's pretty standard but reinventing the wheel is never a necessity. In fact, I think it's sometimes better when you don't overcomplicate things.

This is gory and violent and while there's a certain triumph to all that, it's pretty clear that vengeance only spawns more vengeance and heartache. We lie to ourselves to convince it's worth it. That's how these legends are sometimes born. Take the sequence where Amleth obtains his sword. He has to best a zombie guard...or does he? At the end it jumps back to him standing in front of the intact corpse and just wrests away the blade without much resistance. But what makes for the better story? What becomes legend?

Yeah, I guess I'm just willing to go on these filthy, bloody journeys with Robert Eggers no matter where he takes me.

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