Film Review: The Northman

I recently saw The Northman at the cinema with my partner, Emma. WOW! What a movie... part arthouse cinema, part drama and part action flick... The photography is simply epic, matched with a very thematic soundtrack. The plot is spelt out in the trailer - so there are no real spoilers in this blog. So please read on safe in that knowledge. The film is rich in Norse folklore & myth, depicting what feels like a genuine recreation of the Viking experience. We see inside a sweat lodge where a ceremony to Odin takes place, and see the rituals of the Ulfhednar before battle - which are spelt out simply for the modern audience to comprehend. There are supernatural occurrences, but are they just in the mind of our hero, Amleth? Prince Amleth is the son of Aurvandil War-Raven, a Viking warlord who is murdered by his brother Fjölnir. In an all too familiar story, Fjölnir (nicknamed the brotherless) takes the throne and the dead king's queen Gudrún (Amleth's mother).  As Prince Amleth says: "I will avenge you, Father! I will save you, Mother! I will kill you, Fjölnir!", which pretty much sums up the film plot! Now that Amleth is fully grown, he has joined a group of Ulfhednar berserker and has forgotten his vow... that is until he meets a seer (played by Bjork). Is she real, or a figment of his imagination, reminding him of the last tear he shed? So he returns to enact bloody vengeance on his uncle. The hows and whys I'll leave you to learn from watching the movie. Like Titanic, you might think you know what happens but the story is in the telling. When I saw the trailer, I thought this was Hamlet, which it sort of is. Rather, the film is based on the original story of Prince Amleth which inspired Shakespeare's Hamlet. Even Yorick makes an appearance, of sorts. Heralded as this decade's 'Gladiator' movie, it is a fascinating watch. I was over-awed when watching it - I was left wondering at the end if I actually liked the film. I think it'll take a good week to process that. If you have any interest in the dark ages, you'll love the setting - all the scenery and costumes are authentic looking. The film is now in UK and cinemas worldwide.

Leave a comment

Related Posts