Synopsis: No man, woman or child may defy the gods. When Thor and Loki seek refuge in the home of mortals, the youngest son fails to heed a warning from the gods. As atonement for the family’s sins, the gods take the two youngest children under their wing and embark on an epic adventure from Midgard to Valhalla that will see them stare down ruthless giants, barbaric gods and the dreaded wolf Fenrir.
Brand new Valhalla is directed by Fenar Ahmad, a Danish filmmaker of Iraqi origin, known for the excellent Darkland, a movie about a successful doctor who loses his little brother in a gang-related assault and then gives up his privileged life to become a masked warrior and avenge his brother’s death. In that role was Dar Salim, a familiar face to the fans of Borgen, The Bridge and Dicte: Crime Reporter. Here Ahmad moves from the modern-day issues happening in Denmark and takes on a classic Norse myth of Thor, the God of Thunder.
Two siblings Røskva, played by the incredible young actress Cecilia Loffredo, and her brother Tjalfe (Saxo Moltke-Leth) are taken by two gods Thor and Loki to Valhalla. The youngers know their fate as slaves is sealed but they do not expect how terribly they will be treated during the treacherous travel and when they finally arrive. Tjalfe feels unhappy and struggles silently, doing some pretty disgusting chores, yet he believes that the opportunity to serve gods comes once in a lifetime and only to the chosen few. Although loving her brother to the end of the world and back, literally, Røskva refuses to accept such bad treatment especially as the deities seem to have lost their godly respectable demeanour and engage in pointless name calling, drinking games and general boring unproductive time-wasting. Instead their conduct should be the guidance for the mortals and counterbalance for the Giants, the merciless barbarians, and that is exactly what the girl wants. So she finds her inner strength and challenges the powerful yet resigned Odin, and earns respect of Thor who reluctantly begins to admire her. Roland Møller’s thunderous personality as reckless Thor and his hammer-wielding abilities are to die for, and he becomes a fairly sensible god at the end of the emotional journey. Inspired by the Viking queen-in-the-making, the Valhalla goddesses, mostly silent, also spring into action to defend their empire together with two young mortals and against terrifying giants and the legendary Fenrir.
The intense and dangerous moments and the battle scenes, the visuals of darkness and otherworldly forces create a great atmosphere where you can lose yourself and experience a new brutal reality, based on the ancient rules and whims of supernatural powers. It is a very enjoyable fantasy as the story dips into the wealth of the Norse myths, with quite amazing special effects conveying the mood of fear and despair, and occasional wonder. The film is shot in Danish which adds to the mystery but of course English subtitles make the tale understandable. Just some advice before you venture into Valhalla: dancing with weirdly attractive Death is never a good idea, and watch out for the enormous majestic wolf, and the fish soup. The first one might scare you to untimely death but the second will definitely kill you.
All photos courtesy of Signature Entertainment.