Robert E. Acuña’s review published on Letterboxd:
'The Northman' is the most🤘HEAVY METAL🤘 film in the history of cinema. Even as I type this review, the film is already being spraypainted on the side of Chevy vans.
Robert Eggers has cemented himself as a force to be reckoned with. He blew the world away with the ever so haunting 'The VVitch', and then traumatized us again with a horrific sea shanty that is 'The Lighthouse'.
With his latest, Eggers shies away from traditional horror and gives us a glorious insight into generational toxic masculinity.
On a surface-level the film may seem a bit simple since it takes influence from the likes of Hamlet, or in layman terms 'The Lion King', but what Robert Eggers does to twist the story is captivating as hell.
Sure this is a blood-pumping, muscle-flexing, kickass story about a man plotting his vengeance on the villain that took everything away from him, but in Eggers fashion, not everything is what it may seem.
As the character of Amleth discovers what he must do, what he might lose, and where his honor will lie, it tests him to his very core.
Alexander Skarsgård graces us with his most emotional performance. For every scene we get where he is bloodthirsty, we equally receive a moment of genuine clarity. What's funny to me is that his accent in this film makes him sound so much like his dad. I can't imagine how impactful making this film was for him considering his family heritage and its connection to Norse mythology.
Anya Taylor-Joy just keeps on reminding us that she's one of the best actresses of her generation. Her final monologue is a career highlight.
Claes Bang is an actor new to me but he definitely left his mark. You feel pure hatred for his character but as the film goes on you begin to question your emotions. Good villains screw with your perception of the story, and Claes' acting certainly delivers on that.
Nicole Kidman, our AMC queen, is exceptional. With all the killing, witchcraft, screaming, and revenge, Nicole still manages to standout even with a smaller role.
The score will stay with me for a while. Sebastian Gainsborough and Robin Carolan make an oustanding debut as composers, instantly making their loud war drums & brutal throat singing into workout music. The score alone will make you grow a beard and six-pack abs by the time you exit the theater.
This is equally the most beautiful-looking Robert Eggers film right next to 'The Lighthouse'. The final frame of the film is destined to be one of the most iconic shots of the decade.
Although the 2nd act lulls a tiny bit, the more I think back on this film, the more I love it.