The Northman, directed by Robert Eggers and co-written by Eggers and Sjón, is a 2022 epic historical fiction action film. The film stars Alexander Skarsgrd, Nicole Kidman, Claes Bang, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke, Björk, and Willem Dafoe and is based on the mythology of Amleth. Filming takes place in venues across Ireland from August to December 2020.
The Northman is an action epic based on the old Norse story of a young Vikingprince named Amleth – who starts on a quest to kill his uncle, save his mother, and avenge his father's murder. It is partly inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet.
The Northman Plot
Amleth sees his cruel uncle's murder as a boy in Iceland around the turn of the 10th century and is unable to let the atrocity go unpunished. The mythology of Amleth is considered to have originated in Icelandic folklore, but there is no substantial evidence that he was a real person.
Amelth's origins have been variously described: Saxo Grammaticus, a Danish theologian, depicted Amleth as a master of deception who utilized his wits to deceive others around him, whereas the Chronicle of the Kings of Leijre depicts Amleth as savage as he sets fire to a sleeping men's tent. The new film will be inspired by legends in all of its forms.
The Northman is a bold and technically stunning tale of power and succession set in a time of mysticism and human sacrifice, in which Skarsgard's hulking assailant faces betrayal with a sharp blade and a colder heart.
Robert Eggers, who has made a name for himself as a risk-taker, directs The Northman.
The picture reunites the American filmmaker with Anya Taylor-Joy and Willem Dafoe, the stars of his award-winning films The Witch and The Lighthouse, as well as Jarin Blaschke, his regular cinematographer. Eggers had never done a film of this magnitude before, and he had qualms about filming a Viking film because of many of the associations that come with it.
“At first, I was uninterested in Vikings. “I wasn't enthused about them because of the macho attitude and right-wing distortion of Viking culture,” the director explains.
Carolan and Gainsborough undertook an extensive study on Viking-era music while creating the score, which covers over forty tracks, in addition to the rougher tone that Eggers sought. Both composers had previously worked almost entirely in electronic music, thus their work on The Northman was a refreshing change of pace.
Carolan said of the changes made to the film's soundtrack, “Electronic music has nearly endless sound-making possibilities, which is obviously fantastic, but it can also be a vortex into which you can get lost at times. When you only have a few core instruments to work with, there's no chance of it happening.”
The Northman Cast
- Oscar Novak as young Amleth, Alexander Skarsgrd as Amleth, the Viking warrior prince
- Anya Taylor-Joy as Olga of the Birch Forest, a sorceress
- Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrn, Amleth's mother
- Claes Bang as Fjölnir, Amleth's uncle and Aurvandill's brother
- Anya Taylor-Joy as Fjölnir, Amleth's uncle and Aurvandill's brother
- Björk as the Seeress and Ethan Hawke as King Aurvandill
- War-Raven, Amleth's father and Fjölnir's brother
- Heimir the Fool, played by Willem Dafoe
- Halldora the Pict is played by Kate Dickie.
- Thorir the Proud (Gustav Lindh)
- He-Witch is played by Ingvar Eggert Sigursson.
- Murray McArthur in the role of Hákon Ironbeard
- Ian Whyte in the role of The Mound Dweller
- Shield-maiden is played by Katie Pattinson.
- Ian Thorvaldr Giant-Crusher is played by Gerard Whyte.
- Thorfinnr is played by Hafór Jlus Björnsson,
- Melkorka is played by Doa Barney, and Ashildur Hofgythja is
- played by Olwen Fouéré.
- Captain Volodymyr is played by Ralph Ineson.
The Northman Release Date
The Northman was supposed to be out on April 8, 2022, however, it was pushed back to April 22, 2022. It will be distributed in the United States by Focus Features and worldwide by Universal Pictures.
Special screenings were held in several European cities ahead of the theatrical release, including Rigoletto Cinema in Stockholm on March 28, 2022, Astor Film Lounge in Hamburg on March 30, 2022, Cinema Troisi in Rome on April 1, 2022, Odeon Luxe Leicester Square in London on April 5, 2022, and Cineworld in Belfast on April 6, 2022.
The Northman Reviews
The film has received positive reviews from critics, who praised the directing, production values, atmosphere, and performances of the cast.
The Northman now has an 89 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the site describing the movie as “a violent revenge epic and magnificent visual marvel,” and adding, “The Northman sees filmmaker Robert Eggers broadening his scope without compromising any of his hallmark styles.”
The Northman will be a lengthy watch, with a two-hour and twenty-minute running time. The film has received a lot of positive feedback from critics. The Independent gave it five stars, calling it a “Viking epic of thick, blood-red savagery” and “a film of hard-bitten masculinity,” according to critic Clarisse Loughrey.
The Guardian also gave it the highest possible rating of five stars. “The Northman” is a horribly violent, nihilistic, and chaotic story about the never-ending cycle of violence, the choice between loving your friends and hating your enemies – which turns out to be no choice at all, and the thread of fate down which masculinity's delicious toxin drips, according to reviewer Peter Bradshaw.
The Northman following the assassination of his father, the King (Ethan Hawke), by his brother (Claes Bang), a Viking prince named Amleth flees his land, promising to return and exact vengeance. Years later, Amleth (Alexander Skarsgrd), now huge, learns that his violent uncle has lost his empire and is now a feudal lord. Amleth disguises himself as a slave in order to exact vengeance, but he must first determine what to do with his mother (Nicole Kidman) and little half-brother.
The Northman had its global debut on March 28, 2022, in Stockholm, and is set to be released in the United States by Focus Features on April 22, 2022. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised the directing, production values, atmosphere, and cast performances.