The Northman the Movie: The Ultimate Vikings Cinematic Experience?

news culture The Northman the Movie: The Ultimate Vikings Cinematic Experience?

Since the first assaults of the Vikings series produced by the History Channel, Scandinavian warriors have been all the rage. After the video game (Assassin’s Creed Valhalla) and the serial format (The Last Kingdom), it’s cinema’s turn to see the people of Midgard land on its shores aboard The Northman.


  • The Northman in a nutshell
  • The ultimate Viking experience?

The Northman in a nutshell

The Northman is an American-British adventure film directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch – 2015 / The Lighthouse – 2019) and scripted in collaboration with Sjón Sigurdsson. The man at the head of the project has, so to speak, surrounded himself with the finest of cinema. The photography was entrusted to Jarin Blaschke, an image expert who had already worked on the American director’s two previous projects. Where The Northman surprises is in its exceptional cast, and that’s the least we can say.

Next to Alexander Skarsgard in the role of Amleth, we find Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor Joy, Ethan Hawke, Bjork and to finish Willem Dafoe… just that ! Based on the Scandinavian legend of Amleth, a legend that inspired none other than the author William Shakespeare for his tragedy Hamlet, the feature film tells the life of the eponymous prince and in particular his quest for revenge. Following the death of his father, the Raven King, the Bear and the Wolf flees his native lands with the obvious destiny of avenging his family and punishing the wrongdoers no matter what.

The ultimate Viking experience?

I still vividly remember my first viewing of Valhalla Rising with Mads Mikkelsen, and, on a completely different note, The Northam gave me the same feeling of disorientation before getting carried away for different reasons. The trip to Scandinavian lands proposed by Robert Eggers is in no way comparable to that orchestrated by Nicolas Winding Refn in 2010, and yet the simple pleasure of being disconcerted in front of a total work still vibrates in me several hours after the end of the session.

I was able to read during my wanderings on the Internet that The Northam was at the crossroads of the Vikings and Game of Thrones series. With the exception of the historical setting and the family fresco made of betrayals, revenge and other plots, it is not so. Comparing this film to History Channel and HBO series makes no sense (or almost) so much the proposal of Robert Eggers is located at nautical miles of the calibrated programs to thrill the general public.

The Northman is a theatrical experience, deeply poetic and certainly brutal. The director and his teams allow themselves everything, and forgive nothing. Climbing aboard this drakkar means letting yourself be carried away by Prince Amleth’s avenging fever and savoring its fantastic wanderings. to finally plunge body and soul into a universe unlike any other. One thing is certain… The Northman is aimed at a certain cinephilia (or cinephagia).

The literal dialogues to the comma and inspired by Shakespearean tragedies, far from the (too) common scripts, are a first wall to cross for all comers. The staging, sometimes static and contemplative, sometimes nervous or even frenetic, is disconcerting. The Northman really spares viewers nothing. The visuals offered speak for themselves. Sometimes close to naturalism, the image is draped in mysticism before letting its rage explode. The artistic then mixes with the most primary violence during “shock” sequences that will remain etched in the memories for a very long time.

The Northam is in my opinion the ultimate experience on the Vikings, and is intended for an informed public. It will divide, and from this division will arise the debate.

The Northman the Movie: The Ultimate Vikings Cinematic Experience?

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