The Northman

The Northman

bodies, bodies, bodies—always falling, always glistening, whether it be from sweat or the fluids yielded from loosened viscera. i’ve yet to completely make peace with Eggers’ inhibitions—specifically the seeming refusal to engage with the closeup in contexts that befit an intimate framing—but sequences of action are often so richly textured that it earns (most of) its long takes. for a film that bases much of its action in brutality and the mobility of its subjects, i feel Eggers’ predilection for tracking mediums feels more reactive than proactive, and so many sequences impress a banal toothlessness for it. however, we rarely ever see films of this scale with the audacity to be as violent as it is, so i was prepared to instinctively favor it; when your movie has two sweaty men screaming at each other and fighting to the death near an active volcano and anya taylor-joy, you’ve basically won we over already. i give it a lot of credit for being the first film i’ve seen in several years to leave a packed theater completely speechless.

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