There are stories that are worth their capacity not so much to narrate as to retell;

not so much for what they discover as for what they bring to mind.

Memory functions in them as one more pupil, as a sense to be added to the five most obvious.

Their mechanism is that of the myths recounted just before the dream: they stitch the fable with desire and serve as violent warnings as well as strangely immoral monuments.

Valhalla Rising

, by the always restless and unnerving Nicolas Winding Refn, is basically that:

a film that makes its footing in each of the old and universal narratives that give it the quality of the echo.

More than just ringing, it resonates.

It speaks of a redeeming and bloody hero eternally offered in sacrifice, it speaks of a merciless god, it speaks of a virgin and hostile land ... But, above all and above any will to tell anything, what matters is all that is silent .

The protagonist played by

the imposing Mads Mikkelsen (

Another Round

) moves across the screen like a wounded ghost.

He only has one eye and nothing to say.

Its only language is a primitive language and it precedes any form of spoken or written communication.

It is, basically, a horror film convinced of the cathartic power of blood

Let's say

the director watches arms before what will be his first big success.



, the film that made him famous and notable at Cannes the following year, is all contained in it.

Let's say that

the Danish Winding Refn polishes a good part of the brutal essays of expressive silence

(let's call it that) that he developed through his previous films such as the three installments of





It is silent, visceral, impressionistic cinema with a strange masculinity that is always unsuccessful.

It is a science fiction film "without science"

(the occurrence is from the director himself) that focuses on the violent story of a slave (One Eye / One eye) who understands freedom as an exercise of violence.

Nothing more.

The feature film wants to be a journey to the depths of an unknown place and necessarily oblivious to issues such as meaning, order or law.

It is a Viking western with the same reliability as a samurai film or a Samuel Beckett tragicomedy


It is an adventure film locked inside a nightmare.

It is, basically, a horror movie convinced of the cathartic power of blood.

For the end there is the reverberation of an eternal story transcribed on the screen with a transparent and voracious magnetism.

It is cinema and it is myth.

It is story and memory.

+ The feeling of suffocation can do everything in a provocative and strangely unpublished film exercise- All the vices of Winding Refn (pomposity, prizes and self-indulgence) are already pre-announced here.

But they are not very noticeable

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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