Somewhere in Scotland, somewhere in the Eleventh century, a freed mute joins a group of viking christians on pilgrimage to the Holy City. VALHALLA RISING could be this and nothing more, it is in fact something else. If there’s two themes that were able to stimulate the Refn late, are those of silence and violence – the two poles separate, which make up the central pane. VALHALLA RISING is a beautiful and well-silent and violent, that even before being a road trip viking.
In this universe, there is only blood and mud. The time is fading, imperceptible, foggy, in the image of the scenery, it seems to be lost. VALHALLA RISING this are two things : as to each of his films, it is a fantasy film buff. Refn pays homage, realizing what he himself would have liked to see on the big screen. Here, Aguirre and Kenneth Anger, who are in the spotlight – with a dash ofApocalypse Now. But VALHALLA RISING is also a subject, an object, burning, indescribable, to look pretentious, and the emptiness primitive.
It is very simple : the movie Refn does not understand, he saw. The most persistent will be able to try to see it as a metaphysical voyage on the life, death and religion, a bit like a Stalker, but fundamentally, there is not enough material to make a pattern of viewing. Here, everything is an excuse in good part, to the mechanics of the brutality. VALHALLA RISING is not there to tell, it is there to make it vibrate.
The appreciation that one may have of VALHALLA RISING , therefore, depends on this variable of assessment primary : a film can only exist as experience ? At the bottom, it is a form of cinema that has been able to develop as-an-end creative for many authors. The horror is it not, also, characteristic of emotion is the most basic ? This is not a coincidence that his next film (The Neon Demon) seems to be closer to the terror : the hand of a director who is committed, from film to film, to emphasize the feeling in the brain, this is only a logical consequence.
“This circus animal has no other function than that of plunging the viewer into a nightmare world where will reign that ignorance and bestiality of human”
It is quite presumptuous to claim to decrypt VALHALLA RISING. It would be like trying to describe a pain – sometimes, we can not give an intensity. “It hurts “, ” it’s been very poorly “. This circus animal has no other function than that of plunging the viewer into a nightmare world where will reign that ignorance and bestiality of man, and it is for this reason that it is necessary to take the film as it is given to us : to let the vitality dark images and sounds, to get caught up in the unknown, to suffer and live with the protagonists.
The storm ends, the curtain closes – what one has seen, this was not thefantasy way in Cannes, neither Aguirre way, actually, but rather the gospel according to Refn, in which intertwined figures of quasi-mythological, and narrative as crudely allegorical as absolutely improbable. If he had a work to prove the power of sensory images, whether of torpor or scars of warfare, this was it. To complete the biblical metaphor, you could say VALHALLA RISING that it is a way of the cross film : it gives it the meaning that we want, but if one believes in the Refn, hard not to fall in awe – in all cases, the main concerned, there is no air of fun.
AGREE ? NOT AGREE ?
Nicolas Winding Refn is a filmmaker exciting. To try to capture the essence of his cinema, we are set to 4 (Maxime, Vivien, Georgeslechameau and Paul) to try to break down his filmography. Each writer to be watched all the films, in the order of the output, which allowed the suite to be able to work together to collect the most items. It is then with its own sensibility and its culture, as each one is launched in the drafting of critical, while being able to re-contextualize the films compared to the rest of the filmography, to the whole work.
Results in a folder full, trying to capture the essence of the work of the Danish director and allowing you, hopefully, to better understand the beauty of his cinema.
Good read !BONUS : also Check out Our top 10 movies of NWR or our different opinions on the work of the filmmaker.
Click on the poster to view the critical
• Production : Nicolas Winding Refn
• Scenario : Roy Jacobsen, Nicolas Winding Refn
• Main actors : Mads Mikkelsen, Maarten Stevenson, Jamie Technologies, Gary Lewis, Gordon Brown
• Country of origin : Denmark, United Kingdom
• Released : march 10, 2010
• Duration : 1h30min
• Distributor : The Covenant
• Synopsis : For years, One-Eye, a warrior and dumb and wild, has been the prisoner of Bard, a fearsome clan leader. Thanks to the help of a child, Are, he manages to kill his jailer and together they escape, beginning a journey into the heart of darkness. During their escape, they climb aboard a viking ship, but the ship, during the voyage, finds himself lost in a fog, which will dissipate to reveal an unknown land. While this new land reveals its secrets, the Vikings face the enemy invisible and terrifying, and One-Eye will discover its true origins…