“Even trash can be recycled into something beautiful.”
This is your brain for revenge: intensely focused, highly aggressive, and unrecognizably decisive. You see the world through a red lens, forcing everything to deal with the inevitable abuse and destruction. You put off what might lead to progress. You protect yourself from what might provide consolation. You, on the other hand, are inching closer and closer to chaos in hopes of reciprocation. After the act of revenge is carried out, the evil voices are temporarily calmed, you will find you “tall” short-lived and emptiness returns.
Your brain for revenge is one of power promised but a fleeting finality.
This is your brain on benevolence: focus on the other person, passionately giving and kindness beyond greed. Oxytocin is released and a love relationship is established. Euphoric dopamine is released, giving the body a natural “tall.” Serotonin is released, reducing feelings of depression, anxiety and even aiding digestion and wound healing. You delay what might lead to regression. You protect yourself from what might rob you of relief. You, on the other hand, are tying your way closer and closer to true joy with the hope of a compassionate cultural contamination. Once a virtuous act is done, the universal call for unity resounds, you will find yourself chasing the next opportunity to repeat the rush of kindness.
Your brain on virtue is one of profound strength and evanescent energy.
Your brain is wired to support kindness and reward kindness. It really benefits you to be someone else’s advantage. Folks, this is science speaking. Not morality. Science.
It’s a story as old as time, someone said nauseated: a boy grows up to avenge his murdered father. Throw in the bad uncle and you get a cliché.
Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard), a budding prince, is turning to manhood when he witnesses a game on the throne: his father King Aurvandill (Ethan Hawke) is murdered at the hands of his uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang). Isn’t that how it is.
Amleth escaped with the skin of his teeth (and the skin of someone else’s nose) and disappeared, presumed dead by the present king. With his father’s death, mother captured and land lost, Amleth becomes a member of a vicious traveling band of Vikings. He excels in this new role because he is dead to emotions and numb to purpose, other than killing his uncle, viz. Every breath by Amleth is used to pursue revenge. Every methodical step of Amleth was directed towards death.
When news came of Fjolnir’s location, Amleth jumped at the opportunity. He takes on the role of a slave only to get close to the object of his humiliation. However, he found more than he bargained for. Fjolnir has taken as his wife, widowed mother Amleth (Nicole Kidman) and fathered a child, Gunnar. The world keeps turning for everyone except Amleth. Current circumstances demanded adaptation, but revenge was not something that was easy to adapt to. Blood only needs blood.
A life destined and dying for revenge is a life destined for destruction. Can Amleth find satisfaction in anything other than extermination?
I had high hopes for this film. Writer/director Robert Eggers has built an outstanding reputation for unwavering authenticity and unmistakable ambiance. His creations really flow his vision, but The Northman lacks vision. It was a trite story told in a trite way. Period. Eggers, for the first time in his youth career, attempted to invite the popular masses to his art, but he failed in that endeavor. It wasn’t avant-garde enough for his true fans or interesting enough for the casual Joe Schmo. It’s only 135 minutes of the common stuff that happens to a cool guy. If you’re looking for the scary and scary, you won’t find it here.
Alexander Skarsgard does his best with lifeless scripts, stacking and stripping, but it’s not enough. The only character with energy is Willem Dafoe as Heimir the Fool, but his role only lasts 3 minutes. Everyone seems to just pass the line.
We get moments of beauty throughout the film. Jarin Blaschke’s cinematography provides audiences with steady interest and splendor, but it’s hard enough to take a bad shot in stunning Northern Ireland.
It will be a forgotten entry into Egger’s filmography.
REPORT CARD: “Northern.”
Comments: Efforts without a clear concept or creative commitment.
From the very first moment on planet Earth, the Wolf (Sam Rockwell) has been labeled “Bad people.” Unlike her seasonal fur, it wasn’t something she could shed either. It is here to stay. When he entered a room, a scream ensued. As he smiled, gritted teeth sent the recipient running towards the hill there. No matter the situation, this label refuses to disappear. If life gave you this concrete label, what would you do? You live up to the label. You become the bad guy that everyone has seen.
Wolf finds solace in his bad actions. He finds comfort in the bad press. He found a friend in his bad friends. If you can’t change it, accept it. Be the best bad guy you can be. When an object that cannot be stolen is about to be presented to the public, an object that has brought down the careers of so many other bad guys, Wolf can’t resist. This is his calling, for God’s sake.
When the mission started, everything went according to plan. The Golden Dolphin was as good as stolen until the unexpected happened. The wolf accidentally saves an old woman from falling. This unusual event led to the most confusing sentence ever spoken to Wolf: “You are a very good boy.” A strange and unfamiliar feeling enveloped Wolf. Is this what it feels like to be good? Maybe, just maybe, being good is a gift in itself.
Can Wolf reinvent himself? Can each story’s bad guy really rewrite his own script? Would you believe the wolf?
There’s been anticipation for this film in my house for months now. We have been book fans for years. The film did not disappoint. It uses source material with grace and style. It breathes life into the characters and the world.
Director Pierre Perifel has a way with the mood, the film feels cool and easy. It has the feel of Ocean’s Eleven and a vibe of sophistication and adventure. Art Director Floriane Marchix has an interesting point of view. Animation with its own style and flair. Music by Daniel Pemberton keeps the rhythm and energy alive.
I love Sam Rockwell and his performance as Wolf is amazing. Her voice is smooth without losing any sadness and her comedy is always sharp. Marc Maron is effective as a Snake. Craig Robinson had great moments as Shark. Zazie Beetz is fun and unpredictable as Diane Foxington. However, not all voice acting fascinated me. Not all embody and animate. Some fall rather flat.
It has life. It has direction. It has possibilities. It has energy. It has a joke. It has a talking animal, to cry out loud.
REPORT CARD: “Evil People.”
Comments: A fitting start for a (probably) franchise.