Okay so the other day I was asked what it was about this I actually liked.
Now thats a tricky question, so join me inside…
Okay, so I actually have no idea what it is I like about that film, so here’s some ill formed thoughts on the matter.
It’s hard to pin down, while there are lengthy bouts of silence and stillness punctuated by all kinds of violence and weirdness I think I like it because its a lengthy depiction of men under pressure, of people facing up to the sharp edge of the application of their ideas and faith in the face of grim situations and what they do about it.
Some (the leader of the Christian Vikings) keep their faith strong, some like his son and second in command reflect about how everything interacts with their family. Some like One Eye and The Boy simply wish to return home, they have no ideas about imposing themselves on those around them, they simply exist.
In the end One Eye sacrifices himself so that The Boy can return home, which is interesting, the idea of who is One Eye? Is he some sort of supernatural being? Is he just a bitter old fighter who’s had a legend of bullshit grow up around him?
How does he know that the Boy will be saved by his sacrifice? There’s frequent suggestions that others can “hear” him talking even though he’s mute. The Boy and also later one of the vikings who goes mad can hear him, so perhaps the natives (who are also silent) can as well? or is the idea that he truely never talks and again its about the interaction of beliefs and the environment? That people project onto One Eye what they want to hear? The boy and his desire to return home, the natives want him to die to keep their land free, the mad-man projects that he’s taken them all to hell to kill them.
In the end its much like Donnie Darko, I watch it and I get something intangible from it, a different thing each time, less ideas from the film and more ideas from the atmosphere that watching it generates.
And that about wraps that up, by which I mean it leaves a lot of questions :)