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THE NORTHMAN (2022) – My rating: 8/10

The Northman.pngThe Northman is an epic historical fiction action film directed by Robert Eggers, who co-wrote the screenplay with Sjón. The film is based on the legend of Amleth. The plot follows Amleth, a Viking prince who sets out on a quest to avenge the murder of his father.

Skarsgård had wanted to make a Viking film for several years, and Eggers decided to make the film his third project after the pair met to discuss possible collaborations.  While I don’t get to see many Viking movies, I am a fan of the star from when he starred in the Netflix series, “True Blood”, so I decided to give The Northman a try.  It was extremely violent and very dark.  Not really my cup of tea but The Northman was well acted and the story was a true Viking real-life plot.

In AD 895, King Aurvandill War-Raven (Ethan Hawke) returns to his kingdom on the island of Hrafnsey after his overseas conquests and is reunited with his wife, Queen Gudrún (Nicole Kidman), and his son and heir, Prince Amleth (Oscar Novak). To prepare Amleth to one day be king, the two participate in a spiritual ceremony overseen by Aurvandill’s jester, Heimir (Willem Dafoe). The next morning, masked warriors led by Aurvandill’s brother Fjölnir (Claes Bang) ambush and murder the king. After seeing his village massacred and his mother taken away screaming by his uncle, Amleth flees by boat swearing to avenge his father, save his mother and kill Fjölnir.

Amleth is found by a band of Vikings and raised among them as a berserker. Years later, after an attack in the land of the Rus, Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) encounters a Seeress (Björk) in the temple of Svetovit; the Seeress predicts that Amleth will soon take revenge on Fjölnir and that his path is intertwined with a Maiden-King.

The Northman becomes one of the bloodiest and most violent movies I’ve seen in a long while.  The story tells of what this Viking goes through to exact his revenge on those responsible for destroying his family and ruining his life just when he and his father were bonding with new horizons to come.  The Viking way of life is so dark and violent, one wonders how they survived.  Brilliant acting and a great cast made this movie a force to be reckoned with.  If you’re squeamish, this movie is not for you.  The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 89% based on 301 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “A bloody revenge epic and breathtaking visual marvel, The Northman finds filmmaker Robert Eggers expanding his scope without sacrificing any of his signature styles”.  As of May 1, 2022, The Northman has grossed $22.8 million in the United States and Canada, and $18.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $41.6 million. According to Variety, the film needs to gross around $200 million in order to break even theatrically.  The Northman is currently in theaters — Check It Out!