“Kon-Tiki” makes a splash

Photo: NordiskFilm. A still from the film “Kon-Tiki,” which premiered in Norway Aug. 24. It is Norway’s most expensive film to date.

Film receives critical praise for portrayal of famous 1947 expedition

Kelsey Larson

Copy Editor

After 59 days of shooting in six countries, the biggest Norwegian film yet to be made is ready to hit Norwegian cinemas Aug. 24.

The directing duo behind “Kon-Tiki,” Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, also directed the hit film Max Manus, which sold 1.2 million tickets and was a huge success in Norway and abroad.

Aftenposten’s movie critic Per Haddal gave the film a grade five of a possible six.

“Kon-Tiki flows very well, is a visual delight and an adventurous hero epic,” he writes.

Kon-Tiki tells the story of Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian adventurer who in 1947 set out to prove that Polynesia had been inhabited by wanderers from South America, rather than from Asia as was previously believed. To prove his theory, he sailed from South America to Polynesia on a balsa-wood raft dubbed “Kon-Tiki,” after the Inka sun-god. The trip took 101 days and the raft crossed 8,000 kilometers of ocean, but made it to Polynesia intact.

The film stars Pål Sverre Hagen as Thor Heyerdahl, Herman Watzinger as Anders Baasmo Christiansen and Agnes Kittelsen as Liv Heyerdahl.

Dagbladet also gave the film five stars out of six.

“Kon-Tiki is a glossy, sea-blue and pretty intense drama with scary sharks and a contagious spirit of adventure,” writes film reviewer Mikael Godø.

“Kon-Tiki is Hollywood in Norwegian and it is unlikely that Norway’s most expensive film will sink at the cinema,” he adds.

Birger Vestmo, of NRK P3’s Film Police, also rated the film with a five.

“Fortunately, the film is just as expected, which means that this is a large and wide drama steeped in history, where adventure oozes out of the film,” he writes.

Nettavisen / Bergensavisen also adhered to the five rating:

“All in all, the director duo Rønning / Sandberg created a drama that conveys adventure and heroism, but which also manages to cast more modern eyes on the complexity of pursuing a dream as relentlessly as Thor Heyerdahl did. The storytelling is very Hollywood in the way it creates the dramaturgy. Every picture is perfect,” writes reviewer Nils Olav Sæverås.

With such excellent reviews coming from all corners of Norway, Norwegians everywhere are excited to stand in line for the movie. “I am unimaginably excited,” gushed one moviegoer on the film’s Facebook page. “This is almost like a party, I just can’t wait!” said another.

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 24, 2012 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

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