Hey look another Norwegian movie, wait guys come on come back its pretty damn good, guys? Come on you give two thousand views to my alien 3 review and now you stop caring, I don’t get that.
Sudden drop in views out of the way, this is Kon Tiki, made in 2012 (Yay for late releases ) for a Norwegian film festival this movie has traveled quite a bit and I hope that has gotten the attention it deserves, Kon Tiki stars legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl, and while he does not throw a hammer around he did spend a load of time in Polynesia and discovered evidence to change the popular belief that Polynesia was colonized by Asia, he subjects it was Tiki a south American, obviously our ridiculously pompous news editors of the time don’t care for his story and one even told him that if he wanted to prove his theory that he got on a raft himself and traveled the 5 thousand sea miles, and so he did.
You gotta love stories with simple plots because often they are done very well, and Thor Heyerdahl actually existed he was a very fascinating man and I encourage you to look up his work, and yes he did undertake this journey on a raft over 5 thousand sea miles which is impressive that he even got on the boat, I mean that’s drifting in the sea at the mercy of the elements, no control there you could end up anywhere, so you need a good crew right ?
Well the thing is a good crew wouldn’t get on a raft so he got a radio operator a refrigerator sales man and a couple of war heroes, only one of them have ever been on a boat, when the movie kicks in we see this movie loves close ups and we see Thor as a child getting into to trouble and nearly drowning in a ice lake just to retrieve an ice cutter, this is good to establish two things, why Thor cant swim and the moment when he realized that his life would be one of adventure, cut ahead to fatu hiva in Polynesia where we see Tarzan, I mean Thor with his wife Liv, we see the hard times they spent there with limited resources and local diseases and we also see them bonding with the natives, this movie kicked in a bit to choppy for me jumping from scene to scene simply to get the back-story out of the way, because this is really a movie about the journey and the movie really kicks into gear when the crew introduces themselves, and we add a camera man to the team, we get to see a bit of how hard it was to set this expedition into motion but when the local government heard about a way to get into the story books they gave their full support which makes sense right ?
I mean even if they die it’s not like you lost a lot of money in supplies, one of the scenes that I love the most is the dinner scene the night before they leave because it really showcases all their excitement for this journey and gives for some nice character bits, the next morning they are off and so the Kon Tiki expedition is underway trough the pacific, but over course it doesn’t go well at first.
Kon Tiki from that point on gets pretty good, its all about the journey the feelings the relationships between crew members and all the fear that comes with undertaking a journey like this, some of the more spectacular parts of this movie are all the scenes with the sea life its extremely well done and I haven’t seen anything like it before this.
The whale swimming under the raft the sharks looming around it the simple things like the crab living in the raft or the fish feeding off it, it makes for amazing visuals and i haven’t seen better shark effects in any movies actually devoted to sharks, this movie knows when it needs to slow down and when it needs to speed up, most of the movie is just watching things happen on the raft, characters talking or a shark showing up, a violent storm, trying to get the radio communication up and it sounds really boring but with impressive visuals both in effects and in presentation and with interesting characters to watch interact of each other, it really works showing the isolation in this raft and how each character deals with it.
One man who was especially interesting was one of the war veterans he had sort of his own demons to deal with and he befriended a parrot that was brought on board, we never learn that much about him but he resonates a lot has a deep character because of it, the rest of the characters aren’t that good expect Herman the refrigerator salesman, its clear that he’s in over his head and its great seeing his character develop throughout the movie and his interaction with Thor is also what makes Thor characters interesting because it gives him a opportunity to shine has a strong man who would do anything to solve a enigma, Herman characterization is altered from real life and has caused some controversy over in Norway, but seeing all it does for the movie i must give this change a free pass.
Well my friends, it’s time to talk about the movies climax and how it differs from what actually happened, Well I won’t spoil anything for you even the obvious parts, I think this is a movie that is best seen with no idea of what actually happened and then you should read about what actually happened, its more interesting that way, but I will say this, movies in their entirety seem to have a sub conscious need to have an happy ending or at minimum bitter sweet, you will never really see a movie where the villain kills the good guy and wins, it may exist but its rarer than the holy grail and won’t be that popular, you might find a movie where the hero wins but looses an arm or a loved one, but most times movies are experiences that are better off leaving you with a happy feeling, at least that seems to be the case for modern movies, and so are based in real life movies, In real life not everything goes your way and even great feats of human achievement and ambition like the Kon Tiki expedition aren’t all sun shine and rainbows at their endings, and the movie does also have a somewhat bitter sweet ending regarding the relationship of Liv and Thor, even if their actors dint really play the part well and i will say it’s another case of looking the part but not playing it, their relationship was well written and it shines trough, and as such trough everything that happened in the journey and all they went through, it is only fitting that the ending is more gratifying and the movie benefits from this.
Kon tiki was a beautiful film that reminded me that movies can be experiences and not just uninspired crap like most things we get nowadays, I have gotten quite a bit of respect for Norwegian films after Ronal and now Kon Tiki it was impressive how much they respected the original story and even when they took their liberties they kept it true to the original meaning, and this was a story worth telling (Unlike some based on a true story pieces of s….pain and gain okay) “Once in a while you find yourself in an odd situation. You can get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but, when you are right in the midst of it, you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.” Thor Heyerdahl-Kon Tiki expedition, the movie keeps true to this idea and with amazing special effects that really impressed and amazed, with a good story supported by good characters memorable scenes funny jokes an occasional flaw here and there and if your all about action movies or at least faster paced movies you won’t really like this but for the people who want a real movie experience I give my full out recommendation of this movie, go watch it, you won’t regret it.
And if you do well…You can mail your pitchforks and torches to me or something.
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