Home Films The most accessible film by The Northman Robert Eggers?

The most accessible film by The Northman Robert Eggers?

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The following contains spoilers for The Northman, which is currently playing in theaters.

Robert Eggers has made a name for himself as a peculiar modern filmmaker, a man obsessed with the past who still hasn’t written a story set after the 19th century. His penchant for historical accuracy only locks his films into the era in which they take place, such as his first two films, 2015 The witch and 2019 Lighthouse, seem so realistic to be part of their sets that it seems strange that Eggers could get footage of 17th-century New England or a 19th-century lighthouse to make these films. It has also ensured that Eggers’ films are not easily accessible, using aesthetics, writing styles and storytelling methods that make them appear to be part of their older inspirations rather than today. today.

Hearing the latest Eggers movie, The man from the north, set even further in the past, based on an Icelandic poem from around the 10th century, one would imagine it would be even more lost to history and even less relatable than his previous two films. And while Eggers sticks to his style that combines the historical with myth, folklore and magical animals, The man from the north is also his most accessible film to date.

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Using source material that inspired William Shakespeare Hamlet, The man from the north chronicles the life of Amleth, a young boy who witnesses his father’s assassination at the hands of his uncle and is then forced to flee his homeland with only the clothes on his back and the promise to kill his uncle, save his mother and reclaim the kingdom that was stolen from him. Years pass and Amleth is now an adult – the adult version of the character played perfectly by Alexander Skarsgård – who has learned to fight and is ready to fulfill the vow of revenge he made when he was little. As the audience watches Amleth’s journey come to an end, they will also notice that The man from the north moves at a pace that still feels like an Eggers movie but isn’t nearly as unappealing as his earlier films.

One of the reasons for this is purely in the look and sound of each of his films. Especially with his first film, The witch, Eggers does an amazing job of recreating what a Puritan home might have been like. But it also means some shots are dimly lit, like candlelight, and dialogue is perpetually masked in an older English dialect, with accents and diction that seem like a thing of the past, almost as if Eggers cared more about getting The witch to feel good rather than to be understood. Lighthouse also has bold choices attached to it; presented in black and white and in an atypical aspect ratio, his second film once again does everything to stand out from the majority of mainstream cinema.

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The man from the north is beautifully shot, taking full advantage of its colorful and vibrant mountain and coastal settings, a stark departure from how his previous two films looked. Particularly as The witch and Lighthouse are each confined almost entirely to a single frame, The man from the north feels epic, with a story that moves through multiple locations, each as gripping as the last. And rather than forcing dialogue into a ninth-century language, Eggers has most of his characters speak English, which feels more modern than his other two films, but isn’t out of place.

Eggers also chose a genre for The man from the north which moves differently from his previous two films. Close-up horror and psychological drama have been replaced and opened up with an action-oriented revenge flick from Norse mythology that holds nothing back. Eggers has the space to choreograph brutal battle sequences and thrilling duels while staying true to the more personal elements that have proven a bit weirder and less accessible in his previous ventures.

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More important again, The man from the northThe story of is a larger experience that tells a story that audiences are more familiar with, including more characters to connect with and themes that are almost universally understood. Almeth’s story of avenging his slain father and attempting to rescue his captured mother strikes differently than two men trapped in a lighthouse during a storm or a family tormented by a goat in the woods.

That’s not to say Eggers sold out. Far from it, he shows the audience that he is trying something new without abandoning those elements that made his early films so successful. The same way as The witch and Lighthouse incorporated evil, powerful and mythological creatures into their stories, the world of The man from the north is still filled with unexplained magic, hallucinogenic rituals and a wonderfully bizarre performance by Willem Defoe. This should only make people more excited to see what Eggers comes up with next.

Discover Robert Egger’s latest film, The Northman, currently in theaters.


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