“Early man did not see the oceans as a barrier but rather as a means of communication”
Romance, friendship, adventure, suspense and six blonde Norwegians intertwine to bring to the screen the historical period piece epic Kon-Tiki.
Kon-Tiki is the story of Thor Heyerdahl, a zoologist with a theory that the first Polynesians came from South America instead of Southeast Asia. In 1947, he gathered a crew of six members and built a balsa wood raft to resemble the ones the ancient Pervians would have had. They set out into open ocean from Peru, the start of a 101 day journey across the Pacific. Along the way they battle huge storms, some sharks, a whale and the struggle of complete solitude in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The high-budget Norwegian film is filled with great acting. Gustaf Skarsgård (Vikings on History alumni) shines, as well as Pål Sverre Hagen who plays Thor. When the voyage is well on its way, the reality of being in the middle of the ocean sets in and everyone is on edge. This is where the great acting really shows; each character expressing the obvious anxiety in their own way.
The production design, especially the cinematography, is simple yet stunning. The many ocean-from-above shots are impressive and the under the raft shots are really cool. The original score by Johan Söderqvist is beautiful.
The story of the Kon-Tiki voyage is true, making it even more remarkable and the film even more enjoyable. The storytelling of directors Joachim Running and Espen Sandberg is wonderful and makes for an utterly entertaining film with a nail bitting, edge of your seat last 10 minutes and an uplifting conclusion.
Kon-Tiki was nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013. It didn’t take home the award but the nomination was definitely merited.
Kon-Tiki is a beautifully crafted and enthralling adventure film that will make you want to read more about the fascinating story it is based on.