1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together ... See full summary »
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Nicolas Winding Refn
Kristin Scott Thomas,
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Nicolas Winding Refn
Rikke Louise Andersson
A young man who was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbing a post office ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. During this time, his own personality is supplanted by his alter-ego, Charles Bronson.
In the 16th century in the Cévennes, a horse dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas leads a happy family life. When a lord treats him unjustly, he raises an army and puts the country to fire and sword in order to have his rights restored.
1000 AD, for years, One Eye, a mute warrior of supernatural strength, has been held prisoner by the Norse chieftain Barde. Aided by Are, a boy slave, One Eye slays his captor and together he and Are escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. On their flight, One Eye and Are board a Viking vessel, but the ship is soon engulfed by an endless fog that clears only as the crew sights an unknown land. As the new world reveals its secrets and the Vikings confront their terrible and bloody fate, One Eye discovers his true self. Written by
Hearts of Darkness meets Bosch meets Lord of The Flies
Nicolas Winding Refn and his skeleton film crew have done a fantastic job with this film. It's minimalist in it's dialogue (more akin to a Takeshi production), brutal in it' depiction of violence, stunning in it's heavily treated Scottish-shot cinematography and quite frankly surreal in it's execution.
As for the story, you may have read the plot above but Nicolas Winding Refn is really wanting to take his audience on a visual/psychological journey rather than spell everything out for you. This is a film that will probably win over more 'art-house' fans than hyperactive videogaming teenage boys, which begs the question - What the hell happened to the original theatrical poster artwork, why has the marketing department decided to package this as a '300' rip-off?? It's criminal.
In terms of plot, much is left to the imagination and it benefits greatly from it. It's like a very bad acid trip. A trip that Mads Mikkelsen's character 'one-eye' undertakes for reasons known only to himself (well, a mute isn't going to tell you what's he's doing is he?). After fleeing his captors, finding a child as a companion and joining up with a group of midgy-bitten Scottish Christian Vikings (which actually existed, by the way) we find ourselves en-route, via viking boat to what can only be described as Hearts of Darkness meets Bosch meets Lord of The Flies. It's a story that peers into the deepest and darkest parts of man's soul. Chaos, evil, death it's all in there and the director takes on an almost Werner Herzog persona, dragging his crew to the most remote parts of Scotland. It's edgy, sparse, minimalist spooky psychological stuff that's utterly gorgeous and tense throughout. It just about holds the pace together (almost losing it in the boat scenes) but it's Mads Mikkelsen that keeps you gripped. Even without uttering a word, he draws you in until the closing scene Great stuff. It's gory art-house flick, existential, dark, minimalist, stylish and very un-Hollywood. And I loved it.
I just wish the box art was revised for the sake of it's future audience. The packaging this film comes in is a disgrace. '300' it ain't! It desperately needs a minimalist design on the menu and box to match the film's mood (and original theatrical poster). Trust me folks, I'm a Graphic Designer!
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