Legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal's epic 4,300-mile crossing of the Pacific on a balsawood raft in 1947, in an effort prove that it was possible for South Americans to settle in Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.
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
The film's producer, Jeremy Thomas, had wanted to make the film since 1996 and was granted the rights to the story by Thor Heyerdahl before the latter's death in 2002. See more »
The crew were not worried about whether the ropes would hold the float together, as it is portrayed in the film. As we can see in the Kon-Tiki documentary, the balsa wood was much softer than the rope, and it was actually the rope that ate through the wood. The result was that the rope eventually was protected by the space that had been created around it. 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 »
Visually stunning telling of explorer Thor Heyerdahl's (Pal Sverre Hagen) epic and now legendary journey traveling nearly 5,000 miles from Peru to Polynesia in a wooden raft. Directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg certainly do a marvelous job in bringing this story to the screen, although I think the screenplay at times could have given more information than what we're just seeing. I think a little more character development might have helped the film somewhat but there's still no question that this here is mighty impressive and especially considering the budget. I think the best thing in the film is the wonderful visuals and right from the start they just leap right off the screen. Whether it's the snowy landscape of Norway or the beautiful blues of the sea, the look of this movie is something that makes you just want to pause the film and admire its beauty. The cinematography is top-notch and I'd argue some of the best that I've seen in recent years. The cinematography certainly helps grab all of these beautiful images but I also think it's so good that it also takes the viewer and places them directly on the boat to experience everything that happens. As for the real story, seeing it unfold here makes for a thrilling adventure that deals with some bickering between the men but also some breathtaking moments involving a whale and some highly intense scenes with sharks. The acting is another major plus as all the key people do a wonderful job in the film even while none of their characters really jump out at you except for the lead. The film is certainly very uplifting and inspirational and it really makes you respect these explorers for everything they did and of course their bravery. This film is certainly a fitting tribute to the men who went on this mission.
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