Why the Revenge Odyssey is worth watching

Blood, mysticism and revenge, served up in a harsh Nordic way by Alexander Skarsgård: This is how “The Northman” by Robert Eggers can be summed up.

the essentials in brief

  • “The Northman” can be seen from April 21st.
  • In the film, Alexander Skarsgård goes on a bloody revenge odyssey.

From April 21, Alexander Skarsgård (45) will go on a bloody revenge odyssey in “The Northman”. He does this in a film that draws attention not least because of the cast.

Because, among other things, Nicole Kidman (54) and Ethan Hawke (51) turn their inner Norse men and women to the outside. Even more exciting than the look at Skarsgård’s Viking washboard is, it may be hard to believe, the look at the director’s chair.

Decades of hate – that’s what it’s about

Years have passed since Viking king Aurvandil (Hawke) was assassinated in an ambush. His son Amleth (Skarsgård), who witnessed the bloody crime as a child, finally returns to Iceland physically strengthened. He is determined to seek ruthless vengeance. He wants to save his mother Gudrun (Kidman) and bring the murderer Fjölnir (Claes Bang, 54) to justice.

Shooting star among filmmakers

With Robert Eggers (38), one of the most interesting directors of recent years has devoted himself to the bloodthirsty material. Already in his early 30s and with his debut film “The Witch” from 2015, he impressively proved that he was able to offer atmospheric cinema. With “The Witch” it was the ruthless 17th century – misguided faith and a witch hunt staged as horror.

Stylistically, he went one step further in 2019 with the unusual black-and-white film “The Lighthouse”. In it, two unequal lighthouse keepers at the end of the 19th century, brilliantly portrayed by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson (35), increasingly fell into cabin fever (and madness). While “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse” still took place like a chamber play with just a few actors at a specific location, Eggers, together with his virtues in his luggage, can now finally let off steam on a larger scale thanks to “The Northman”.

And he does it in an epochal way, narratively, optically and pictorially. Betrayal and intrigue, atonement and revenge, battles and mysticism – a Viking story in Shakespearean garb.

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