Director-Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
Starring-Pal Sverre Valheim Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen
Scott’s Review #78
Reviewed June 28, 2014
I don’t know what has happened to the nominating process for the Best Foreign Language film Oscar (it has been controversial for years), but it used to be you could count on any of the 5 nominated films to be interesting, edgy, and even controversial. Now, a few of the nominated films squeaking through barely rise above mediocrity and are such mainstream stories. Kon-Tiki is one such film.
It tells the tale of a Norwegian scientist determined to sail, via raft, from Peru to the Polynesian islands to prove a Sun God, centuries ago, did the same voyage. He forms a team and off they go. Supposedly based on a true story, the team faces the typical challenges in an oceanic adventure- bad weather, sharks, the raft in peril, dissent among the ranks. These high sea clichés have really gotten to me recently.
The film is similar in context to Life of Pi. It’s not a bad film, but there is nothing special about it and it has glossy and safe written all over it- the score is Spielberg to the nines (who has nothing to do with this film). The 5 adventurers are bronzed with buff bodies when nobody was buff in the 1940’s when this film is set, and the scruffy beards, after months of sailing, look perfectly phony. For the top tier foreign language group, I expected something more cutting edge and with more substance.