The Nortman in film criticism: a bloodthirsty heavy metal

As a child, Prince Amleth (Oskar Novak) witness to his father King Aurvandill (Ethan Hawke) through his treacherous half -brother Fjölnir (Claes Bang). After this Amleth’s mother (Nicole Kidman) married and tears the crown itself, the king’s son swears bitter revenge. He just escapes Fjölnir’s Häschern and grows into a berserk (Alexander Skarsgård) in exile. When he hears that Fjölnir was disempowered by Harald I and is now operating a farm in Iceland with the help of slaves, Amleth senses his chance to retaliate and mix under the serfs.

On the shipping from today’s Russia to Iceland, he meets the sorceress Olga (Anya Taylor-Joy), who offers him her help to switch off one after the other. But she is not the only accompaniment that Amleth has on his mission: visions of gods, dead and walkers constantly plague him, which remind him of his revenge and stir up his hatred on Fjölnir.


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The story of The Northman is based on the same legend that William Shakespeare inspired in Hamlet and therefore has many similarities with the famous tragedy. However, the implementation of director Robert Eggers (The Witch, The Lighthouse) only reduces which new twists and tricks of the well -known story are added.

Egger’s third feature film has its suction effect primarily through the world and its underlying rules through the smallest detail. Both the beautiful landscapes of Iceland as well as the world of thoughts and mythology of the Vikings are captured in fascinating pictures and transported directly into the heads of the audience. The ominous, stirring soundtrack, which was sometimes played on ancient instruments, helps a large part to get a feeling for the world and its inhabitants immediately.

Eggers Arthouse sensitivity is particularly noticeable in the presentation of Amleth’s visions. The filmmaker lets what is shown for himself, instead of always explaining the train of his figures to the audience. An example of this can already be found right at the beginning of the film: Together with his father, Amleth takes part in a strange ritual, headed by court jarrable Heimir (Willem Dafoe), which is supposed to recognize his growth into a man.

In doing so, he also swears to honor the eye-by-eye mentality of his tribe and take revenge to those who harm his family. On the father’s chest, the family’s family tree, which is reminiscent of the world tree from Nordic mythology, is emerging and on which numerous deaths from previous generations hang. The connection between duty, family, religion and death is established solely by a picture that occurs in a slightly changed form again and again in the further course of the plot.

John Wickie and the strong men

Basically, the butcher epic is still a lot of mainstream and more accessible than Eggers remaining work. It can easily be compared to dark fantasy historical films such as Gladiator, Black Death or the 13th warrior.

The Northman is a real board of a film and if you enjoy visual, brutal Viking stories, you will get your money’s worth. For those who want to get involved, The Northman also offers enough exciting motifs to start the gray cells again after the visit to the cinema.

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