Sunday, February 2, 2014

Valhalla Rising - anyone make sense of this movie?

Well last night I got a serious case of "the cant sleeps" and decided to get up about 3am and see what we on television.  I stumbled upon the movie Valhalla Rising on Showtime.

Now I do enjoy myself some Viking history so I decided to give I a chance.  Pretty much anything on the History Channel that involves Norse themes i watch.  So i settled in. I mean what else is on at 3am on a Saturday night right?

Let's just start by saying this movie is a bit out there.  I wouldn't term Valhalla Rising as an action movie by any means.  There are moments of action though.    Valhalla Rising follows a Viking called One Eye.  He is used for sport as a basic gladiator defeating everyone he meets.  One Eye escapes and latches onto a group of Christian soldiers.

One Eye does not speak in the film. Instead he is joined by the boy who fed him while he was in captivity.  The two have a connection where the boy speaks for One Eye although the two are of relatively few words.

One Eye and the Christians set out for the Holy Land in an attempt to free Jerusalem and claim riches.  Instead they are entrapped for days and days in a terrible fog.  Time and distance is lost as the men on board the boat cling to life. Eventually they end up landing in North America where things continue to go from bad to worse.  The group splinters and I will leave the rest for you to discover.

Valhalla Rising is often very slow.  The characters are quite interesting though.  The watcher definitely feels the emotions of the characters.  One Eye is intensely interesting.  I found myself watching just to see what would happen next as I waded through the slow parts.

The cinematography is incredible.  Director Nicolas Winding Refn takes us on a beautiful journey.  The scenery is brilliant and very well captured.  It is the main character in he movie in my opinion.

Is Valhalla Rising a great movie.   Certainly not.  It is gripping.  It will pull you in. You will be awed by the nature and wildness of Valhalla Rising.  Stick with it and you will be intrigued, but I must admit I still haven't figured out the true "purpose" of the movie.

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