Wiking (2022) – review, opinions about the film [UIP]. The tragedy of Amleth, Prince of the Vikings

Young Prince Amleth has loving parents and a kingdom that will soon be his. In an instant, he loses all of this and more when his father (Ethan Hawke) is trickedly murdered. By running away, the boy promises to avenge his father and save his mother.

If you’ve ever played in “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” and “Hellblade: Senua’s sacrifice” and thought it would be nice to see a movie shot in such a climate, you are not alone in this thinking. I won’t give my head, but it looks like Robert Eggers, the author of movies like “The Lighthouse” and “The Witch: A New England Fairy Tale,” also had similar thoughts. The story in his latest film resembles the one from “Valhalla”, while the atmosphere is like nothing “Hellblade” with all those deep, hoarse voices, darkness, guttural singing. We won’t get a better movie about Vikings soon.

Wiking (2022) – film review [UIP]. Time of the revenge


Amleth (Alexander Skarsgård) has survived. At one point in his life, he joined a group of berserkers who raided Slavic villages and then sold the survivors into slavery. He does not complain, he knows no mercy, his body is made to fight. He is still waiting for his moment, for the moment of revenge. When he accidentally learns the whereabouts of his mother (Nicole Kidman) and uncle (Claes Bang), he immediately rejects his entire life and sets out to rescue. On the way, he meets a Slavic girl, Olga (Anya Taylor-Joy). Together they will fight for his revenge.

The script of the film is to some extent the story of the Danish prince Hamlet, created by William Shakespeare, but it’s not like Eggers is picking up from an English bard. It was the Scandinavian legend of Prince Amletha that inspired Bill to write one of his most popular plays. Fortunately, Eggers doesn’t copy the legend one-to-one, actually creating an image on the motives rather than a direct adaptation.

The film is long, perhaps even a bit too long, as in a few moments the viewer begins to fidget, looking for a more comfortable position. 136 minutes is not enough, but if you think carefully, it would be hard to find an irrelevant scene, the cutting of which would not disturb the continuity of the plot. And this one is almost perfect – the scenes flow beautifully and logically from one another, they flow, complement each other, you never have the feeling that “what was it for? “If the scene does not push the plot forward in a direct way, it develops relationships between the characters that motivate their further actions. Quite simply, cymes.

Wiking (2022) – film review [UIP]. Attention to detail

They must have had good personal trainers in those days ...

Eggers proved to be a director who pays great attention to detail, dressing his actors in clothes created using methods derived from the era they represent, using historical records when writing dialogues, trying to make the image look as natural as possible – also in the subject of lighting – in which the camera operator Jarin Blaschke has been helping him for years. “Wiking” looks no different. Much of the movie takes place at night, where the only sources of light are the moon, stars, fires and sometimes torches. The creators choose the shots so that, despite these limitations, the viewer always sees exactly as much as he should. Sometimes the darkness is quite deliberately impenetrable to hide Amleth sneaking at night as he takes his revenge, and sometimes the light of the stars illuminates the scene well enough to make everything visible. The scenes taking place during the day are a gray, steel reality, not colored in any way, but perfectly matching the tone of the story. Only the finale itself was properly tuned due to the nature of the scene.

I’m not sure if I like the visions the director gives us from time to time. The Tree of Life, Valhalla, Valkyries – they fit thematically, but I can’t help feeling that they clash a bit with the very realistic style of the rest of the movie. These are only images in the head of the main character, but I think that the film would not lose anything if you cut them out of it. The viewer perfectly understands the emotions and state of mind of Amleth, and without them.

Another thing is a well-drawn fight for a sword – a tool of revenge of the main character – culminating in a very clear and impressive demarcation where sleep ends and reality begins, which once again reminded me of “Hellblade”. In general, when it comes to running the camera, Eggers’s new image makes a very good impression. It is full of long shots, also full of actions that had to require titanic work to be realized, the fight is shot efficiently and the directing itself tells the story – we support the characters, we are afraid of them, we often feel uncertainty or relief when, after a moment of uncertainty, we see what happened .

“Wiking” is a great cinema. A classic story told anew, conveyed through the prism of the director’s creative sensitivity, excellent in almost everything he does. Engaging, atmospheric, made with sensitivity, brutal and full of heart at the same time. No wonder Shakespeare fell for her! Another must-have production this year. I highly recommend watching with the best sound system possible to fully appreciate the actors’ throaty singing.

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