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The Northman (Robert Eggers)

  • 20-12-2021 2:13pm
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,666 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    Viking revenge flick from the director of The Witch and The Lighthouse. Due out in April (if cinemas are still open here).



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,774 ✭✭✭speedboatchase

    Looks stunning

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,206 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Looks amazing as I'd expect something from Eggers would do, but at this point I'm kinda done with Hollywood actors "doing an accent". I fully understand the pragmatic reasons why it happens, but it still disappoints. Especially when ... uh, some actors look more distractingly "contemporaneous" than others.

  • Registered Users Posts: 322 ✭✭pjcb

    Vikings. Seen it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

    Jaykers! 😲 Alexander Skarsgård looks like a beast charging through the village in that one scene!

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭✭silverharp

    looks great

    A belief in gender identity involves a level of faith as there is nothing tangible to prove its existence which, as something divorced from the physical body, is similar to the idea of a soul. - Colette Colfer

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  • Registered Users Posts: 83,686 ✭✭✭✭JP Liz V1

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭Shred

    This looks great, it feels like a cross between Skyrim (the music at least) and Assassins Creed Valhalla (thematically,

    specifically its beginning).

    I'll most certainly be catching this one on the big screen (Covid permitting)!

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,800 ✭✭✭✭ShaneU

    Story looks almost exactly like Valhalla to me

  • Hosted Moderators Posts: 7,724 ✭✭✭fitz

    A touch of Conan the Barbarian about this too. I'll watch Skarsgard in anything, tbh, and this d looks like good medival fun.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,288 ✭✭✭p to the e

    I just watched the trailer and am I mad or is this not just "Conan the Barbarian" with more style?

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,336 ✭✭✭Wombatman

    Christ, the start is almost scene for scene Conan the Barbarian from the trailer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,444 ✭✭✭Shred

    The reviews seem pretty positive for this from what I’ve seen, I won’t get to see it until next Tuesday but can’t wait!

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,974 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    A very impressive achievement, this! It has certainly been a while since a relatively big budget film has dared to be quite so eccentric and full-on.

    It’s an interesting contrast with The Green Knight. I think that was an arthouse film in the guise of an historical epic, but this is very much a big old action film in the guise of an arthouse film. By that I mean Eggers has made a film that very much looks like an Eggers film - it has a very particular look, is full of visual flights of fancy (the film liberally dips into mythology for some of its more striking asides), and even has one or two big old farts ala The Lighthouse. The man really enjoys flatulence, it must be said! But at the same time it’s a relatively straightforward and familiar revenge movie (based on Hamlet) at its core, just told with uncommon conviction. It should all be very silly, but Eggers plays it all with a mostly straight face, and it works to the film’s benefit. The film has one of the most absurd, dialled up to 11 final fight scenes I’ve ever seen in a film, and yet it does feel of a piece with the strange, raw and intense film that preceded it. Skarsgaard is 100% locked in to it all, and fair bloody dues to the man!

    Anyway, it’s violent, it’s dark, and it never really lets up for its running time with its roaring soundtrack and unusual cinematography. It’s exactly the type of ‘Viking revenge film’ you’d expect from the director of The Witch and The Lighthouse, and for him to have made this film that somehow crosses his idiosyncratic sensibilities with big-budget genre storytelling is a pretty impressive feat!

    Post edited by johnny_ultimate on

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,644 ✭✭✭✭gmisk

    Saw this morning at a fairly busy screening.

    Thoroughly enjoyable, kind of what I was expecting given Eggers past films. Epic (for good and bad) well worth seeking out in the cinema, doubt it would have same impact at home, MVP for me was Claes Bang, but everyone pretty solid despite the hodge podge of accents.

    All a bit predictable and simple storytelling wise I thought but hey.

    I did like how it left the supernatural stuff very much ambiguous...they could have been tripping balls for want of a better word most of the time!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,454 ✭✭✭silliussoddius

    To be pedantic, isn't Hamlet based on the Norse myth that this is based on? From what you say and from other reviews it looks like he has struck a decent balance between mainstream and arty. Without trying to sound pretentious, but how do you think it will go with mainstream cinema goers? it would be nice to see big budgets being given to directors who bring something different (I'm reminded of Mark Kermode saying that Batman Begins was jus a huge budget art house film).

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,974 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    You are entirely correct re: Hamlet / Amleth!

    TBH I find it hard to know how it’ll go over with wide audiences, but I think it has a fair shot at winning over lots of viewers. It’ll likely be a bit too eccentric for some, but I think the historical action / revenge film at its centre will be widely appealing. I hope it does well! It has a much better chance than The Green Knight of having big crossover popularity, but it also has the benefit of the support of a major studio.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,295 ✭✭✭santana75

    Saw it early and I found it to be a slog, not an easy watch. It's very violent, unnecessarily so I think. Alexander skarsgard is juiced to the gills, he's got the steroid traps going on. He's totally committed though so can't fault his performance. Ditto for anna Taylor joy, she's very good. Lots of lads shouting at each other with wild bulging eyes, plenty of blood and guts but all in all just not very Interesting.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,336 ✭✭✭Wombatman


    Visually great although some of the CGI looked a bit cheap. Fight scene at the end was stunning to the eye, brilliantly shot and choreographed. Performances excellent apart from Kidman who seemed to be phoning it in a little.

    All for naught though. Story is junk with cardboard cutout characters you feel nothing for. Speaking Norse one minute and English the next. Horses, boats and clothes appearing out of nowhere. Maybe I'm missing the meaning of some mythological metaphoric symbolism but I don't really care.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,957 ✭✭✭ThePott

    Saw it last night and liked it more than I loved it.

    It's definitely Egger's most accessible film but still has some of his hallmarks. Like stark contrasts of black and white, some off-kilter cinematography at times and a mix of some lowbrow humour with some highbrow dialogue. I think the comparisons to Green Knight are apt, I thought the same felt like Green Knight, Midsommar and Thor mixed in a blender, although that might be a trite comparison.

    I would say it's probably my least favourite of his films to date. The plot and even 'twists' were very straightforward and predictable. It's a revenge plot, that's how it starts and that's how it ends. I think the problem with revenge films is that if there's not many added wrinkles to them, they can become a bit drawn out, I felt that here to a certain degree. I did think it was a gorgeous looking film as to be expected and the booming score was excellent. I did find the handling of the fantastical/mystical elements interesting, not always embracing them and at times showing them as false, it rarely went all in on magical elements which I was fine with. In some regards there was a few mythological elements that felt a bit crammed in or out of place as much as they provided good visuals.

    There were things I didn't like necessarily. Firstly the accents, they were all over the place. It didn't detract from the film but it did seem like few had a consistent accent. Some sounded like they were Irish, others English and some tried their best Swedish chef. I thought the performances by and large were good, I thought Alexander Skarsgard did an admirable enough job, often in some of the quieter scenes. I do think the uncle was excellent as was Ethan Hawke. I do feel like Eggers wasn't as invested in this world as he has been in his previous ones. What I loved about the Witch and the Lighthouse was the richness of the dialogue and the mythology surrounding them. Maybe it was because so much of Norse mythology is already known to the public but it felt like there was less depth to the world as a result. The dialogue in the Lighthouse for example felt layer and you could dig into it to find more about mariner's and legends about the sea, here I felt that was not the case. The dialogue was good overall, Hawke's monologue comes to mind but I do think it was a bit more straightforward than his previous works. Which makes sense as this is a far bigger film for him, I'm shocked a studio threw this much money at what will likely be a divisive film. I did think the final scene was a bit underwhelming and muddy looking for my liking. From the audience I saw it with I got the sense that it left them wanting more.

    On the whole I felt ironically the same about this as I did about Green Knight. I liked the movie but I wanted to love it. It's definitely the closest Egger's has come to making a mainstream film but it's certainly not that. It straddles the line meaning I'm not sure anyone will be fully happy with the end result. I felt a lot of befuddlement from the crowd I watched it with. It's a bit overlong and a bit overwrought for what it in essence a very simple story that wants to pretend it isn't but it's still a very good film with a lot of artistry behind it that is definitely worth seeing and supporting if you want more 'mainstream' adult blockbusters.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    His worst to date. Thought it was overly long and I didn't care about anyone by the end. Thought Anna was decent but the rest meh.

  • Registered Users Posts: 391 ✭✭muloc

    Very disappointing. Thought it was muck.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,602 ✭✭✭buried

    Thought it was absolutely brilliant. Definitely Eggers most mainstream output to date, the first 20 minutes had some nice semblance of the weirdness you would be expecting from him, but then it does transcend into a bunch of other film motif's and themes that we have all seen elsewhere countless times before in mainstream outputs, but was still very very enjoyable. The tracking shots that go from side to side and veer into other directions were very cool. The scene with the funeral in the boat was brilliantly done. I thought it was class, everybody did a great job.

    "You have disgraced yourselves again" - W. B. Yeats

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,904 ✭✭✭✭titan18

    I liked it. A few walked out during the screening I was at and looking at the expressions after, I'd say a lot weren't impressed.

    But then I think those people likely didn't know what they were getting and were probably expecting something like The Vikings.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,298 ✭✭✭Homelander

    I liked it a lot. It wasn't actually as out-there as I expected to be honest, I expected a little more "fever dream" energy from Eggers but the core movie is fairly conventional and well-done at that.

    I could understand why people, if they were expecting The Last Kingdom or Vikings, would've been left a bit cold. It is a solid movie though, good performances, lovely aesthetic and pacing, and a genuinely excellent score.

    The story is undeniably simple on one level, but I think that ceases to matter when it's handled with such finesse and attention to detail, and pushed by a mostly excellent cast.

    It's also not just about revenge nor is it about good and bad, it's more a tale of a man finding himself and a window into a way of life, but I won't go too much into it for those who haven't seen it.

    I think the cast was mostly very good; there's something off about Nicole Kidman in the role for me personally. Not that she's bad - I'd actually say she's perfectly good, but I just couldn't warm to her in that particular role the way I could with say, Stellan Skarsgard as the titular Northman.

    I don't think Skarsgard is a particularly good actor but he has great physicality and presence in this movie to be fair, it works well. Claes Bang and Anya Taylor Joy were particularly great; everyone else at worst was perfectly competent, can't fault the cast.

    I don't at all agree that it's comparable to The Green Knight. I thought that movie was OK; but it's absolutely an art-house experience through and through. The Northman isn't that at all. Someone said it perfectly above - it's a conventional movie with a veneer of art-house, basically, rather than the opposite.

    I genuinely thought it was excellent. A very finely crafted slice of historical mythical thrills wrapped around a simple enough premise, a good balance is struck between being relatively accessible for mainstream, whilst offering more to fans of films that are slightly off-centre.

    I think it has to be commended that the studio committed to the project. I'm glad to have seen it in the cinema and it's one of the few movies I will probably pick up on Blu-Ray as well just to support it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,109 ✭✭✭Spon Farmer

    I saw this earlier today.

    I was expecting violent battles and axe fights mixed with weird and surreal imagery of some sort as the young Prince grows and gathers a band of warriors to retake his kingdom. The father’s murderer was even obvious from the start.

    However, the story had a few twists and turns that stopped it being predictable.!I really like that about it but also I couldn’t just relax and go with it and I was constantly trying to image what was next.

    Thinking back over though - it is a great film with great performances and it looks fantastic is every way.

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭Lefty2Guns

    I seen it last night. Overall I enjoyed it, would recommend going the cinema to watch it as it added to the overall experience that I don't think you would take from the film if you watched it at home.

    I didn't read up on the film before I went so went in kind of blind and not knowing what to expect.

    Positives, the action scenes and some of the cinematography of the shots.

    Negatives, the accents. At times it sounded like have the cast where speaking with Irish accents. Also one or two of the CGI scenes were border line terrible. Also, I felt some of the non-relevant scenes in the film dragged and I didn't think they were needed.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,442 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk

    I loved it. The only Irish accents I heard were on slaves so they were prob nabbed out of some coastal town in Antrim or something. Loved the final scene. It was all just so weird and it took me a while to buy into it but once I did it was a unique cinema experience for me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,333 ✭✭✭Wrongway1985

    I quite liked it rather than loved it myself but there's no doubt about it Eggers is a very interesting filmmaker. I wasn't too keen on The Lighthouse but it was one of those films that stuck with me, he has a knack for an experience seemingly rather than a cut and dry.

    Admittedly The Green Knight did pop through my head as a comparison whilst it was unfolding but also agree this isn't that, The guy who was literally "The Green Knight" (Ralph Ineson) did show up on the boat escorting them though funnily enough, Kate Dickie happened to also be in both films (and both in 'The Witch' with Anya too).

    The pillaging the Village scenes and the camera movements thereof were an actual great video game adaptation that never was in one sense.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,400 ✭✭✭flasher0030

    Just a quick question on this - are there subtitles for some parts. I think I can stream it, but from a site which generally does not show the subtitles. So wouldn't get the same enjoyment if not knowing what they are saying for some parts. I saw a reference in one of the posts about speaking in Norse.