I don't understand the whole going into battle mostly naked when every weapon is razor sharp. I don't care about tradition if wearing some light chainmail keeps the cuts down.
Finally got around to watching this....whoa!
Its a film by Robert Eggers, if you're not familiar with his work, check out The Lighthouse and The Witch. While his movies are visually stunning, he's obsessive with historical and mythological accuracy. The overall tone and look may put off people, as his films can come across as an art-house type of work. This story is based upon the Legend of Amleth, which was the basis for Shakespere's Hamlet; Scandinavian sagas and folklore play a huge role in this movie.
9-10th century Viking life was a world that was both violent, deeply religious (all the ceremony and adherence to ritual) and intensely competitive. The impressions of Vikings that we know it, was created in the 19th century, a romantic view that dovetailed with the arts like Wagner's epic The Ring and the Beowulf story as it was interpreted during the Victorian Age. The religious and cultural aspects is where this movie delves deeply into is where other shows either minimize or, cherry-picked parts that weren't commercial enough for audiences. Ceremony and ritual plays a major role in this film, emphasizing Viking culture that most viewers aren't familiar with: from a son becoming a man, warriors transforming themselves into berserkers, experiencing visions and meeting with seeress....all common practices amongst pagan cultures around the world.
If you're looking for something similar to Vikings, The Last Kingdom or Barbarians, you'll likely be disappointed as the pacing and exposition isn't there but, if you're fascinated with Viking culture this is deep cultural immersion as it revolves around it's folklore. The acting is superb, you can tell everyone put a lot of effort into their roles, just about every famous Scandinavian actor of note is in it, along with a handful of Game of Thrones veterans; costuming is dial'd very little bright colors matching the bleak landscape. Set in Iceland and probably Denmark given the story's origin, the stark but stunning landscape is heavily emphasized which makes this a visual treat. Definitely turn-on the subtitles so you can pick-up the names as it can be confusing and be prepared for grisly if not gory scenes, there's a lot of blood spilled and a few graphic scenes.
One of the worst movies I can remember seeing. Really, really bad!
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
I really liked it so it seems you'll have to see for yourself as the reviews are all over the place. I think this reminds me of Master and Commander, not in actual movie but in how I received it based on my expectations. As a kid I went in expecting Gladiator on the high seas and thought it was boring as hell. With more years on I think its a brilliant film. If you thought you were going to get a lot of action then you were probably pretty pissed but if you came in looking for a Viking Hamlet Lion King story then you probably enjoyed it.
I had already seen Lighthouse, which I love after being entirely confused on first viewing, so maybe I was a bit better prepared for Eggers and his films. I've seen Northman several times since and enjoy it as well but I'm weird and like BladeRunner 2049 too.
As I recall the word 'berserk' originated from those folks who were crazy/brave enough to do battle with a bare shirt -ber serk - instead of armor.
It won you points/esteem/fear - at least it won that for those who survived. Probably impressed the chicks at home, got you stood free rounds of mead, etc. into the bargain.
I wonder if there may have also been some benefit to being light and fast versus an armored opponent. Sword and shield is fun and fascinating but a bit out of my wheelhouse. I believe Dan Carlin discusses it as an intimidation factor as well to your enemy that is freezing and looks across the field and sees his opponent just wearing an axe. Intimidation may not always be viable but consider that it is cited that our ancestor's armies lost far more people during routs vs actual face-to-face combat. If you could get the other guy to break and make feet first that was a wrap....unless it was a pincer. (which is still a wrap I guess).
|Cogito Ergo Sum|
I thought it was an ok movie. At least I got through it all. I couldn’t make it past 20 minutes with The Lighthouse.
I liked it. If you are just looking for not stop action then this is not for you. It tells a story and at times that is slow but all the parts are important. I think they did a good job presenting the time period, not that I am an expert. The characters were deeply religious and superstitious and that accounts for some of the strange behavior and ceremonies. It was not what I expected but it was unique.
|Fighting the good fight|
I finally got around to watching this, and I have to say, while I can see why it's not some folks' cup of tea, I thought it was outstanding. Seriously one of the best films I've seen lately.
No, it's not an over-the-top, CGI-laded, popcorn flick, loaded with jump cuts, carefully plotted and planned to appeal to the widest audience while dazzling them with flashy explosion, and ticking all the demographic boxes plus featuring plenty of opportunities for tie-ins, spin-offs, and product placements. I think it's funny that the majority of folks, here and elsewhere, like to lambast the usual Hollywood formulaic drivel, but then when something extraordinary like this comes along, most folks complain that it's too slow, too boring, etc...
It does have slow periods, but it never feels slow. Seriously, go back and compare it to the older Hollywood epic classics - Lawrence of Arabia, for example. Sure, there's plenty of action, but there's also plenty of room for dialogue, character development, long sweeping landscape vistas, and story progression in between the action sequences. The whole "edge-of-the-seat non-stop thrill ride" schtick for action films is just modern Hollywood pandering to the ADHD Generation.
The action scenes are extremely well done, and very realistic. And as is typical of Eggers, it features extreme adherence to historical accuracy, without the typical Hollywood veneer.
The acting, story, overall tone, and cinematography of the film are amazing.
Honestly, the only part I didn't like about this film is Nicole Kidman's distractingly bad facial plastic surgery... Especially in comparison to the weathered and flawed faces of the entire rest of the cast. The flickering firelight in most scenes further accentuates the unnatural shiny smoothness of her facial skin, lacking even the normal creases that everyone has. She looks like someone wearing a cheap plastic Nicole Kidman Halloween mask. While her acting was fine, I think she was a poor choice for this role; they should have gone with someone more "natural".
If you liked the recent film The Last Duel, it's a good bet you'll also like The Northman. Similar historical adherence, plus intermittent action scenes with room between for the characters and story to breathe. The best analogy I can make would be to imagine the first season or so of the Vikings TV show (with a bigger budget and fancier cinematography), mixed with The Last Duel, mixed with a Shakespearean tragedy.This message has been edited. Last edited by: RogueJSK,
Fair enough. I thought I’ve never seen a bigger snooze fest than the Last Duel. Why the director thought watching the same exact scenes completely from 3 perspectives wouldn’t be monumentally boring, I cannot fathom.
Shakespeare I find mostly boring as well. Not his themes but the actual plays. His ideas make for some of the best stories out there. It just doesn’t translate well in modern times word for word.
We all like what we like. That wolf, man, and child, coming of age scene at the beginning might be historically accurate but what the actual fuck? Weird ass scene.
I might try something else of this director though because you guys clearly enjoy his work. Maybe I will change my mind.
|Fighting the good fight|
Unlikely. His two prior films - The Witch and The Lighthouse - are even stranger, even more niche, and even slower.
|Still finding my way|
And that is why no one will remember your name.
Ok, No clothes at the next battle, got it!
That’s not much of a sales job Rogue. Lol
I always think it’s interesting how people’s opinions vary so much. My best friend is always recommending these British films. I put them on and after it’s over my wife almost always says, “Paul picked this one right?” They are universally awful but he loves them. Go figure.
|always with a hat or sunscreen|
Watched it tonight and rather enjoyed it.
Given I'd earlier watched Bone Tomahawk, today was a rare kettle of fish.
Certifiable member of the gun toting, septuagenarian, bucket list workin', crazed retiree, bald is beautiful club!
USN (RET), COTEP #192
Perhaps your brother can comfort them. I hear he's good at charming other men's wives.
What am I doing? I'm talking to an empty telephone
I love the Lighthouse but you might need a second watch and some google. I did.
Its been a second since I watched Bone Tomahawk. I think I need to throw that back on. Damn fine movie.
|Still finding my way|
I also thought it was interesting how the King's burial scene was similar to the burial scene in 13th warrior.
"Lo, there do I see my mother, and my sisters, and my brothers. Lo, there do I see the line of my people, Back to the beginning Lo, they do call to me. They bid me take my place among them, In the halls of Valhalla, Where the brave may live forever!"
The guys that were shirtless, who stormed the walls, were Berserkers. They were the shock troops, selected warriors who would get whipped up into a frenzy, consuming hallucinogenics and whatever other trance inducing drugs to embody the animal their emulating. Vikings were animists so, their religion, beliefs and culture largely revolved around the world they lived-in, Northern forests had big, predatory animals, lots of power.
The ritual around the fire was their transformation, ultimately getting pushed into a animalistic rage that would be unleashed onto their target. Going shirtless or, no armor, meant they had embodied the animal, wearing the skins would protect them, remember its a belief system, much like people wearing a crucifix. They went in, scaled the walls, killed the guards manning the gate and opened it up to let the rest of the raiding force in. At the end, while the rest of the troops are 'cleaning up' the village, the berserkers were all 'coming down' in a state of exhaustion.
Watch it a second time and it'll come together.
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