16 jul. 2013

My Review: Kon-Tiki (8/10)

¨And only a hundred days to go.¨

Kon-Tiki is an exciting Norwegian film about a real life adventure involving six European explorers and a raft. This film was nominated for Best Foreign film at this year´s Academy Awards but lost to Amour. I really was drawn into this exciting and epic adventure which had some beautiful visuals. It might not be as stunning as Life of Pi, but the story still managed to surprise me and keep me hooked. The characters might not have much depth to them, but we can feel the excitement and thirst for adventure that they all share. I don´t know if they were brave or stupid, but they were up for one great adventure in the name of science. The film is very balanced as we get to see the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and at the same time the dangers of its surrounding. Kon-Tiki seems at times relaxing and pacific and then the next minute you are caught in the middle of a thunder storm with waves set to destroy the raft. This is what an adventure truly looks and feels like: admiration for the beauty of nature and at the same time astonishment and tension for the bigger than life surroundings. Directors, Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, do a great job at balancing out all these elements together. This film is far more superior to their 2006 film Bandidas, and is probably the reason why they were offered the director´s chair for the fifth film of The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Kon-Tiki is a great and exciting film.

Pal Sverre Hagen plays Thor in this film, although he looks a lot more like Loki. Well this film isn´t exactly about the comic hero, it is a film about a real life legendary explorer named Thor Heyerdal who in 1947 decided to prove his theory that the South Americans were the first to settle in Polynesia way before Cristobal Colon times. After doing research for ten years he couldn´t convince any editors to publish his work since they all thought it was impossible for South Americans to have crossed 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft, so he decided to prove them wrong by building a raft himself and cross the Ocean along with five other friends. HIs first challenge was to raise the money for his exploration and the openning of the film focuses on that as they introduce us to the rest of the explorers: Herman (Anders Christiansen), Knut (Tobias Santelmann), Bengt (Gustaf Skarsgard, who´s father stared in Thor), Erik (Odd Magnus Williamson), and Torstein (Jakob Oftebro).  Their next challenge was to cross the Pacific Ocean safely using only materials that the South Americans could have access to1500 years ago. Thus the adventure begins.

The film is actually based on the true story which was documented by Thor Heyerdal. His documentary won an Academy Award in 1951 and now over half a century later the story has been brought to the big screen by Ronning and Sandberg. They did a great job with the direction of this film as they balanced out the overall dynamics of the film. It is a dramatic adventure with touches of comedy and suspense, but mostly it´s all about the adventure. The journey is recreated with such detail that at times you are drawn into the adventure yourself. It was really a fun film to experience and I felt a connection with the story. The visual effects are also pretty strong and several amazing scenes stand out in this movie. Kon-Tiki is a very engaging film and one you should go see.

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