“From visionary director Robert Eggers comes The Northman, an action-filled epic that follows a young Viking prince on his quest to avenge his father’s murder.” -IMDB
Robert Eggers films are…divisive, to say the least. They are bizarre, intense, and lean heavily into the art-house scene. However, I’ve always enjoyed them because I don’t find them to be as pretentious as other indie flicks; instead, they feel more like an homage to a style of filmmaking long past. And The Northman is his most accessible film yet. Let me clarify…
The Northman is packed with well-known faces and top-notch character actors, even for it’s smaller roles. That helps bring in the audience immediately, which is necessary considering how heavy the film gets very quickly! Not to give too much away, but think Hamlet (or Lion King if you’re so inclined) meets Game of Thrones meets Ragnarok (the Marvek movie OR the tv show, which is AMAZING and currently streaming on Netflix). It is an intense, unflinching film about one man’s journey to avenge his father and fulfill his destiny, no matter the cost.
As with all of Eggers films, The Northman really is a work of art. Eggers uses each element of the film to speak to a larger theme, including the colors, camera angles, long shots, and other bits of artistic minutiae. Yet, the plot is never overtaken by these elements and they lend themselves to the overall theme.
It’s definitely not a light film to watch before you fall asleep. In case you’re wondering, that’s exactly what I did and it led to some pretty intense dreams that I’m hoping to forget ASAP. Instead, maybe save this movie for October and watch it when it’s a bit cooler and creepier and you can hide under the protection of a blanket for certain scenes. And just remember that if you go into an Eggers movie, you must try to relinquish control. Go in with no expectations or pre-conceived notions, just sit back and enjoy them for the psychedelic mindf*** they are.
Rating: 8 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: The Witch, The Lighthouse, Ragnarok
With: Alexander Skarsgard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Bork, Ethan Hawks, Willem Dafoe
Directed By: Robert Eggers