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A rather good movie depicting how a viking society might have, indeed
probably did function in the viking era. It shows the vikings from all
their sides, as battle thirsty raiders and warriors, as leaders of
their own men, as traders, and as hunters and farmers. While there is a
"morale" with the movie that war and bloodshed is not always the
solution, the movie does not go so far in it's attempt to impose proper
modern morales as to hide the darker parts of viking history. Slaves,
or thralls, were usual those days, and while they were considered the
property of other humans, this movie also shows that a certain
friendship could arise between master and thrall, despite conflicting
expectations of the master from others.
All in all a rather good display of viking culture and society, despite somewhat lacking Norwegian acting. A very good movie for anyone that has an interest in the viking era.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As far as Norwegian movies go, this is a true gem. I may be biased,
since I saw this movie a whole lot as a kid, but that doesn't change
the fact that having just re-watched it at a mature age, I still think
My motivation for writing this review is that the only other comment available gives the movie a completely unfair bashing and omits several facts in an effort to discredit it further.
Sigurd Drakedreper (The Littlest Viking) is a movie set in feudal Norway. The main character of the story is Sigurd, the son of the village Jarl (chieftain). As was normal in those times, settlements were small and little more then a group of families who settled near plow-able fields for crops and fjords for fishing. Sigurd's father is a raiding warrior who make seasonal trips to Ireland to loot valuables and capture treller (slaves).
It is immediately obvious, right from the start of the movie that Sigurd is not the great warrior that his father is, nor does he have any ambitions to become one, much to the frustration of his father. Instead, Sigurd is a talented hunter and craftsman. After traveling with his father to a market, he meets a woodcarver and immediately develops a taste for it, as well as showing some prowess with a knife for purposes other then war.
The Illugs are a rival village, settled near the foot of a mountain close by, though we never get to see their village itself. A great blood feud is being waged between these two villages and to Sigurd's father, carrying out this blood feud is all-important. The son of the Illug Jarl, Tord; is of the same age as Sigurd and a natural rival as both boys seem to have at least a familiarity with one another, no doubt due to their warmongering father's lecturing.
As the story unfolds Sigurd develop friendships with two other characters of note. The Ravengirl, a very mysterious young girl clad in a cloak of raven's feathers and with apparent medicinal and herbal skills who live in the forests around the village. The second is a recently captured Trell from Ireland.
Initially, Sigurd's relationship with the Trell boy is marked by the intolerance towards slaves that Sigurd has been around his whole life, but then after the boy saves Sigurd from drowning, their friendship begins to grow. Sigurd stands up for the kid on more then one occasion and even defies one of the village's berserker's Orm Viking, whom is also Sigurd's combat trainer.
A transition of a couple of months happen and once again the Jarl is returning from a raid on Ireland, only this time he has been slain. As the Jarl's only son, Sigurd is next in line to lead his village, much to the displeasure of Orm Viking, the movie's obvious antagonist. With Sigurd's village in disarray and the Jarl slain, the Illugs realize that now is the time to strike. In an attempt to burn down Sigurd's village, the Jarl of the Illugs is also slain, meaning that Tord Illugson, Sigurd's rival rises to leader as well.
After Sigurd chases Tord into the woods and the two have a fight, they both come to an unspoken realization that they have a chance to end the blood feud and restore peace between their two people. Just as they realize this, one of the Illug warriors show up and wound Sigurd before chasing him off into the hills. The Ravengirl finds the unconscious Sigurd and takes him to her home to heal his wound and it is revealed that she is in fact his illegitimate sister.
When Sigurd returns to his village, Orm Viking is in the middle of staging his coup, insisting that he saw Sigurd slain and that he should be the new Jarl. Upon seeing Sigurd however, the remaining warriors in the village flock to him as their rightful leader.
The movie ends like you might expect when Tord shows up with some Illug warriors and the two villages exchange prisoners before peace is finally a reality.
In summary, Sigurd Drakedreper is a movie that I heartily recommend to everyone, although admittedly, children might get more out of it then adults. The movie is very children-friendly and there is no excessive violence or language. This is not an action-film and it might be too slow-paced for today's youth who watch a lot of present-day cartoons.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have been looking for this title for some time, hopefully one day I can find it on DVD so my son can grow up watching this film! Even though my older sister thought it was "corny", I loved this film growing up, as did my younger 2 siblings. But, to be upfront, as others have stated, the acting is lacking, the storytelling is a bit slow and the choreography is jumbled and a bit awkward. BUT! The story is very rich and robust in intricacies that are usually absent from modern film making that make this film harder to watch if you only watch modern blockbusters. Those who enjoy older films will have no problem picking up the nuances of the film. The story, is an old one-a prince is expected to fill his father's shoes, but has his own dreams he wishes to follow. He isn't the Warrior that his father and older brother Thorstein are, he meets a woodcarver at market and uses the Frankish blade his father brought back for him to carve a miniature Dragon's head. This displeases his father, who named his second son after the great Sigurd Dragon-slayer of legend and expects him to live up to his namesake. Sigurd's feverish dreams of him failing to slay a dragon haunt him throughout the film, until he realizes that his dragon is the expectations others have placed on him. It shows many examples of Viking-age life, things that modern society isn't even comfortable talking about-such as slavery, raiding and blood feuds. It isn't trying to re-write history, it is historical fiction, so they do a decent job of trying to keep the historical aspect. It is a wonderful film to help introduce your children to the Viking age and makes a fun educational tool.
"The Littlest Viking" is about a boy in his early teens named Sigurd
who is a Viking prince. His royal father and older brother love nothing
more than to kill. They joyfully recount tales of all of the people
they have slaughtered and Sigurd's dad wants nothing more than for him
to become a mighty warrior as well.
This is yet another peculiar little film where nothing much ever happens. Sigurd is rather clumsy and wants nothing to do with fighting. He spends his time loitering about his very small village. Occasionally, some bored warriors, who apparently live nearby, raid the village and kill some people and burn some homes before becoming bored and riding off again. There is more than one such scene and they are poorly choreographed.
When these battles occur, the invaders are all adults except for a teen similar in age to Sigurd. Every single time they show the other teen, he is ALWAYS staring at Sigurd. It's somewhat odd. Our little Viking hero also has a strange love/hate relationship with a slave boy. Sigurd tattles on the boy when he does nothing more than steal a little something to eat. Later, the two of them are naked together on the beach acting like the best of friends. Perhaps I'm missing something...
This film goes to great lengths to show that "war is bad" but it takes an awfully soft stance on slavery. Sigurd thinks owning slaves is just great as long as they aren't beaten. How progressive of him. Of course, the Viking days can't be held to a modern moral standard and maybe they were just trying to be realistic. All I know is that Sigurd is difficult to warm up to and his parents and older brother are royal jerks.
When a movie has no humor, no love story, mediocre acting and very little action it's awfully difficult to keep a viewer entertained. The message that it is bad to always be fighting and killing others is simplistic at best. I watched this video with two of my friends' kids and they tried their hardest to watch the entire film. However, they couldn't take the tedium anymore and walked off with about twenty minutes left in the movie. I don't blame them...perhaps I should have joined them. 1/10
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