Two Cineasts’s review published on Letterboxd:
Film reviews in 22 sentences (or less)
Today: The Northman
The cycle of violence and obsession, consuming one's soul to unleash a disturbing power from out of this world. Beastly. Brutal. Bloody. Bewitched. Literally and metaphorically. A memorable epic period piece that makes use of an unspent setting. The burden of destiny calls for a great warrior… The Northman!
(The Two Cineasts)
Hi everybody, we adore The Witch we admire The Lighthouse and now we welcome The Northman with open arms: Long live the king… ! The film transports you to a time and place that is mostly unspoiled in cinematic history: northern mythology and a nearly realistic viking representation create a graphic revenge thriller in the likes of The Revenant or Iceman. Masterfully crafted, visually stunning, accurately researched and thoughtfully combined The Northman proves that the trademark "Egger's" can survive even with a larger budget. The mystical, the otherworldliness from The Witch, the close portrayal and slow-burn character-driven drama from The Lighthouse - third time lucky? Already the first frame makes clear that this is not an ordinary film, the language, looks, costumes all together in a more ambitious scale that retains the independent roots it's coming from - weird, shocking, fantastical. For most of the running time I had a big smile on my face whether it was because of the stylistic choices, sequence shots with incredible timing of choreographies, ruthless action and occasionally dull funny moments (I did laugh out loud at some points, even if it wasn't meant to, it was more absurd than truly comical).
The linear story develops in a very straightforward manner divided into chapters including little surprises when you're familiar with Shakespeare whose work ”Hamlet“ is based on this Nordic tale, or movies like Kurosawa's The Bad Sleep Well but a definitely an effective plot with a pleasing ending for everyone. It's a highly symbolic film containing disturbing dream-scenes and oftentimes theatrical dialogue but unlike anything that has been released in the past few years. The only downside is the second third that is dragging at some moments. The opening and final third will let you enjoy this original movie all the more!