The Northman

The Northman ★★★★★

Revenge stories are a dime a dozen but there is a reason that they work, and The Northman, in particular, is keyed into that primal urge. It’s a movie as motivated by violence as it is by the culture that so steels itself to greet those urges every day. It’s a bleak film- cast in colorless grays and sometimes only lit by firelight- but even that lighting gives these people a great ferocity that works in the film’s favor. It may not be the most original, but as passion projects go, it’s one hell of a trip into the heart of darkness. 
The familiar aspects of the Amleth fable grant the audience a foothold into the story and provide a narrative framework, while the rest of the plot and the meticulous historical accuracy immerse the viewers into the strange world of Viking ritual and violence. Eggers succeeds in uniting all these dimensions of The Northman together, creating one of the most hypnotic films in recent memory specifically because his use of historical accuracy enriches the story and does not talk down to his viewers.

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