Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Valhalla Rising

Watched "Valhalla Rising" last night. The director refers to his movie as Viking Sci-Fi in the "Making of ..." extra. The characters don't go into outer space, so much as inner space and it's a numinous but brutal film. I found it hard to comprehend at first and I had no idea where I was being led but the journey is intense.

Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish actor (King Arthur, Clash of the Titans), plays the central character, who is mute, referred to as "One Eye", but is listed as Harald in the credits.  Scottish actors fulfill the roles of the Vikings.

The one-eyed slave is kept by a pagan clan because he is a champion in fighting tournaments. After a vision[?], the enslaved warrior finds a way to escape his captors.  After an encounter with Christians seeking Jerusalem and its riches, the journey to the promised land/Valhalla/Hel begins.

The cinematography is darkly atmospheric and the director allows the uncompromising weather of the Highlands of Scotland to add to the intensity of the characters and storyline.  The beauty of the landscape however does little to counter the violence encountered in various scenes.

Valhalla Rising is definitely a film that requires more thought than it might at first appear.  I shall definitely be viewing it again.


dreamguardian said...

I've had my eye on this one for a while but wasn't sure how it would be portrayed. But your initial review has reasured me & it's on my 'to see list, thanks

dreamguardian said...

Watched the dvd last night and found it visually stunning, deeply intense & totally absorbing.

I'm still pondering many aspects of the story now & need to watch it again.

Recommended. Thanks Sile!

Ancestral Gael said...

Exactly my reaction, Dreamguardian, only you were much more succinct than I!

I'm glad you enjoyed it.