Robert Eggers directs Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman and Anya Taylor-Joy in this Viking revenge saga epic.
I am going to confess to being a little overwhelmed by this. I was in and out of the movie, in and in and out my of my headspace a little too much to fully savour everything. Eggers goes for a full method approach when it comes to historical detail and it can feel like a genuine culture shock. You marvel at the tactile verisimilitude, but the emotional connection can feel a little distant. Even with the very familiar narrative throughline of revenge. The battle sequences are pounding. I know something has got its extreme violence absolutely spot on when I’m laughing at just how excessive and nasty it is at least once a set-piece. Yet then Eggers slaps us with a bit of conscience, showing us how the weak and the civilised fare after we get our action fix in these alien times. The guilt trip feels well played. Listen, I loved the gore. Loved the beserking. Loved the folklore. Loved Anya Taylor-Joy. Loved the big operatic fantasy swings. Loved Bjork. I’ll see it again on the big screen. It is an instant Blu-Ray purchase in a few months time. But a week later and I still feel exhausted by it all!
Perfect Double Bill: Gladiator (2000)
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