The Northman bombed at the box office, but the humor related to the movie hasn’t. A tale about a prince who seeks to avenge the murder of his father and save his mother, Robert Eggers’ latest project has been receiving positive reviews, and they don’t overlook the funniness of the Viking story.
Even though the movie’s tone is gritty and far from a comedy, that doesn’t mean the watching experience lacks amusement. On Letterboxd, moviegoers have shared their funny takes on the movie, from compliments to Willem Dafoe to references to The Lion King.
Hamlet With Sweating
The description of The Northman is highly similar to one of the most well-known plays in the world. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the dilemma surrounds Hamlet as he deals with the death of his father and the wedding between his mother and uncle. In the new film, Prince Amleth finds himself in a similar position.
Because of that connection, Letterboxd user thejoshl states that The Northman is like the play only with “sweating, farting, intestines, and volcanoes.” Given that Amleth is an anagram of Hamlet, it’s entertaining to imagine what would happen if the princes swapped places in their narratives.
The Lion King And Naked Willem Dafoe
Besides the close connection to Shakespeare’s play, audiences are also drawing parallels between the new film and The Lion King, which has similar themes, as The Lion King is also a retelling of Hamlet.
Based on that, Letterboxd user dakotajoaquin jokes that Eggers “watched” the popular Disney animation and told Willem Dafoe to “take off his clothes” because he had had an idea for a new movie. This joke also references The Lighthouse, a past collaboration between the director and actor.
Amleth In Court
In the movie, Amleth doesn’t go to a court of law, but one review imagines what Alexander Skarsgård’s character would have said if he did.
Letterboxd user mistat jokes saying that the protagonist would have addressed the court with this statement: “In my defense, your honor, I was in goblin mode when everything went down”. The argument would not have succeeded in a modern court, but thankfully for Amleth, he can continue growling like a bear instead of preparing his legal defense.
The Northman’s Biggest Moment Of Tension
As a high-budget epic movie, The Northman offers many moments of tension. Letterboxd user davechen states that the scene in which Skarsgård caught a “spear in mid-air and threw it back at the guy” made the user start “sweating.”
The funny remark about Amleth’s superb fighting abilities says a lot about the watching experience of this film, and it defines the tone of Eggers’ movie. It might not be a “pure Eggers” title, but it has been an entertaining watching experience for many.
The Northman Delivering What It Was Promised
Title cards aren’t what they used to be, but The Northman brought them back. Letterboxd user patrickhwillems celebrates the fact that the movie “delivers exactly what it promises.” The user is referring to the scene where a title card named “The Night Blade Feeds” shows up soon before a feast happens.
With some epic TV productions depending on nonsensical plot twists in recent years, it’s refreshing to see a project respecting its writing and letting the audiences follow the narrative. The Northman has some likable characters, and this funny review proves that title cards can be just as appealing.
Missed Opportunity For Björk Song To Drop
Some viewers have quite a few unpopular opinions about The Northman, and one of them is that Björk is the saving grace of a boring film. Agree or not, the scene of the Icelandic singer remains one of the movie’s highlights, but one viewer thinks her participation should have been bigger (and more musical).
Letterboxd user sapphicquinn calls out The Northman for a “missed opportunity” to play Björk’s song, “Army of Me.” If Skarsgård could growl to the sound of her music during a battle is tough to say, but it sure would be amusing.
Just Another Tuesday
Fans of the Icelandic singer enjoyed her participation in the movie for several reasons. While Björk didn’t get the opportunity to sing, she plays a relevant role in the narrative, telling a prophecy to Amleth.
Despite the epic movie being far from the modern era, Letterboxd user larevolverperez jokes about that by saying that for the singer, the eccentricity of her character was “just another Tuesday.”
Lion King With Vikings
Amleth indeed growls like a bear instead of roaring like a lion, but the similarities to The Lion King remain strong nevertheless. In a few words, Letterboxd user lewismclaren states that The Northman is The Lion King “with Vikings,” which is a fitting description.
Amleth is much like Simba, a prince who has his life changed by an unexpected brutal move orchestrated by his uncle. Skarsgård doesn’t sing “Hakuna Matata” with Dafoe, but surely they would have nailed that musical performance.
Willem Dafoe Steals The Show For Five Minutes
The Lighthouse remains an example of what’s turning into an excellent actor-director partnership: Dafoe and Eggers. While the veteran actor doesn’t have as much screentime as he had in the other Eggers’ film, that doesn’t mean his participation in The Northman wasn’t celebrated.
Letterboxd user sopheyquinn says they love when Dafoe appears in a movie for “five minutes” only to steal the show. That’s an accurate description, as though nobody would complain about more Dafoe, he makes the most of his limited screen time.
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