Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort to prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.
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The Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in a balsawood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the ocean and settled on Polynesian islands. After financing the trips with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101-day-long trip across 8000 kilometers, while the world was waiting for the result of the trip. The film tells about the origin of the idea, the preparations, and the events on the trip. The "Kon-Tiki" was named after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, and "Kon-Tiki" is an old name for this god. Heyerdahl filmed the expedition, which later became the Academy Award winning documentary in 1951, and he wrote a book about the expedition that was translated into 70 languages and sold more than 50 millions copies around the world. Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times, although most anthropologists now believe they did not... Written by
Large parts of the film were filmed in two versions at the same time, one in Norwegian, the other in English, in order to secure international funding. See more »
When the radio operator makes first contact with an American station before the parrot severs the antenna wire, the Morse Code he uses is nonsense. See more »
[Talking with three National Geographic's members]
Gentlemen. Your magazine will be with me on a raft. At the mercy of the winds, all the way to Polynesia. It is further than from Chicago to Moscow. Here to here.
[pointing it in a map behind him]
You'll have some sort of engine in case of emergency?
No. Absolutely not. We will surrender to the current and the wind... like Tiki did.
And by undertaking this extraordinary voyage, you are proving?
That the oceans were not barriers, but roads...
[...] See more »
Before the closing credits, short clips are shown in which original footage shot by Heyerdahl was reenacted by the "Kon-Tiki" actors: urinating overboard in the open sea, dancing with natives under palms, portraits, and the like. Along with this, brief notes concerning each crew member's path of life after the trip are given. See more »
Somehow like a Norwegian version of 'Life of Pi' - but better and based on a true story
What a weird coincidence that such a movie came out attempting for an Oscar nomination the same time with Life of Pi, with both exhibited many similar things about survival in the ocean, though the subject matter in each film may be entirely different.
Anyway, even though I have not watched nor have any knowledge of the original, I am impressed with the way this film was made. It was pretty well-balanced with no major flaws in my opinion. Well acting performances by the cast were complemented by a high level of cinematography technique that made looked like the entire journey on the raft was really shot wide in the ocean. Like Life of Pi, there were certain marine animals that were infamously being shown from the real life account of Kon-Tiki, and the CGI made on the animals were so real you probably cant tell if those animals were fake.
Probably the major point of improvement that the film can work on is the lack of character development of the other participants in the Kon Tiki, aside from Thor Heyerdahl himself. I am not implying there was none, as we get to see Thor's mates conflicts happening from the start till the end, but I wish I could have known more why they decided to join and their background story. Understandably, with the time given the film had chosen to focus on Thor instead with a lot of plot material explaining why he had to venture into such a journey.
I was also curious if there were more that could be shown about a group of men enduring a raft journey across the ocean in +100 days. But overall, just by solely comparing the similarities, this is much better and believable than Life of Pi as well as a very satisfying movie experience.
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