Release year: 2012
Director: Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg
Screenwriters: Petter Skavlan, Allan Scott
Starring: Pål Sverre Hagen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Tobias Santelmann, Gustaf Skarsgård, Odd Magnus Williamson
Ratings: 1 Oscar nomination: Best Foreign Film. 1 Golden Globes nomination: Best Foreign Film.
After Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) comes up with the teori that South-Americans inhabited Polynesian islands pre-Columbia he is determined to prove his theory by following their footsteps and cross the Pacific Ocean on a balsawood raft.
Kon-Tiki is a movie about the making of the Oscar winning documentary by the same name from 1950. Starting with showing how Norwegian explorer Heyerdahl came across the theory it moves on to the struggle he had to finance his trip and gather the crew for the dangerous expedition. But even though Sverre Hagen (Troubled Water, 2008) delivers a strong and charismatic performance throughout the movie it doesn’t really get going until the expedition itself starts. Once on water Kon-Tiki turns into a grand adventure of 6 tall, blond and blue-eyed men versus the sea and especially the dangers under the surface of said sea. They encounter magnificent whales, the wonder of flying fish and the danger of sharks circling beneath their far too fragile vessel and all is shown with a rare sense of reality and without any necessary drama. The movie is shot stunningly showing the sea and it’s wonder at it’s best and all six men gives great performances that show the bond that grows between the group especially Christiansen (In Order of Disappearance, 2014) as the engineer struggling with adapting to the sea and Heyerdahl’s stubborn demand that they don’t reinforce the raft with modern resources and Hagen who perfectly portray a strong willed man risking everything to prove his theory at personal cost.
To secure international funding large parts of the film was shot in two versions simultaneously, one in Norvegian and one in English.
Picture copyright: Nordisk Film