The Northman

The Northman ★★★½

“You must choose between kindness for your kin, and hatred for your enemies.”

Robert Eggers is rightfully considered to be one of the best and newest voices in cinema - by others he is known as a visionary, truly redefining the genres he takes on (look at how impactful The Witch was). With his newest film, The Northman, he was given a substantially bigger budget and much less control over the final product - this is simply how things work with bigger pictures. The question remains, how does this stack up next to his other films?

The Northman may very well be Robert Eggers’ most conventional film to date, and depending who you ask this is either a let down or an improvement - while I fall somewhere in between. I believe his latest feature does a great job at highlighting his strengths as a director, but the bigger production hampers the story from going too far in any new and creative direction - which is quite obvious when you look at the sum of its parts. That is not to say I did not enjoy myself, because I very much did. You can feel Robert Eggers’ influence through the screen, it is nearly palpable, but it is also very strained - there was some studio interference, surely, or else he would have gone full phantasmagoria instead of teasing us with these little snippets of brilliance.

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