Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Directed by Norwegian most famous directing duo, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, film tells another Norway's history not that much known tale. First was 2008 Max Manus and now Thor Heyerdahl amazing story where to prove he was right on his scientific findings crossed the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947.
The story is truly fantastic and one the world should be aware as he was the first to prove that the Inca traveled to Polynesia which before trip he hypothesized but no one believe him as then it was common knowledge that Polynesia inhabitants origin came only from Asia. So film presents us the character as a kid, an excerpt of his life in Fatu Hiva -where he creates his theory-, his inability to find interest in the expedition, his persistence until succeeding, and the 101-days trip across the ocean.
But as fascinating as the story is, the movie is not much entertaining as drama is built oddly, action takes too much time with the sharks and script needed much more development for viewers to sustain the almost two hours film takes to tell story. There are moments -when the group is at the sea- that you get tired as story doesn't built up but becomes repetitive and some of us knew the end, so movie was about the ride not about reaching an unknown end.
Then acting is too stiff for my liking even when I imagine that they had to represent Nordic behavior under extreme circumstances as close as possible to reality; but a bit of less stiffness could have been more emotions shown by actors while still being very Nordic.
As can be easily imaginable, film has many outstanding visuals; but the most extraordinary does not come with the men at sea, but from the beginning. The opening sequence with a still camera is impressive as also are most of the winter scenes. While watching spontaneously thought that movie keeps the same camera style no matter where they are (winter, hot weather, urban setting, etc) and perhaps if they had changed the style according to the setting then probable visuals would have been even more remarkable in the non-winter moments. Tech specs are great in general as is the biggest ever Norwegian production up to date - co produced with UK and Denmark-.
But if you wish to learn the story in a more engaging way I suggest you watch the "real" documentary directed by Thor Heyerdahl with the same name that went to win the 1951 Oscar in the documentary category. There are two versions, one narrated in English and the other in Norwegian, both narrated by Thor Heyerdahl himself. Still I know documentary is not easy to find, so many will have to conform with the 2012 film.
As we know film is Norway submission to 2013 Oscar, got a 2013 Golden Globes nomination, and more honors surely will come to film. I liked Max Manus as director's storytelling and filmmaking style was good for the story they were telling, but in this sense I find Kon Tiki not as good as their previous film.
Watch trailer @MOC