Nordic mythology infused with maximalist brutalism in which there is no intention of doing anything outside of exhibiting that barbarism and immorality of a time in which living was nothing more than primalism. I really appreciate how assured Eggers is in bringing this barbaric time in history to life that reduces humankind to its most animalistic tendencies. The Northman is unapologetically gnarly, brutalist, and uncompromising in its depiction of this time, portraying the Nordic history and their belief systems in a way that feels almost completely detached from modernity, almost alien and unrelatable to the viewer outside of deeply primal impulses. Unsure if it is the film's intent but Eggers seems to view this as nothing more than a wild ride detached from drawing any parallels with modern times. While this film doesn't have much to say thematically - any attempt to assert a critique of the perpetual nature of vengeance and the masculine ethos' propensity for action over introspection feels like a reach - The Northman is effective at telling a story in which there are no good guys or bad guys, in an epoch defined by nothing but impulse and unwavering beliefs. Ultimately, the way Eggers interweaves mysticism through surrealism with histrionic savagery is quite effective, and I had a lot of fun here so who cares if the film doesn't have much to say otherwise because it sure is one heck of a ride and I can always appreciate such an uncompromising vision.
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