Kon-Tiki Review – Visually Stunning, Inspirational, An Epic Tale

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“Kon-Tiki,” from The Weinstein Company and Anchor Bay Entertainment, brings to the screen an epic tale that feeds the explorer spirit, pitting man against nature, in this real life high seas action adventure.

Directed by the Joachim Ronning and Espy Sandberg, the newly knighted directors of the fifth installment of Walt Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, “Kon-Tiki” is based on the real 1947 adventure of Thor Heyerdahl, the legendary Norwegian explorer.

Starring Pal Sverre Hagen as Thor Heyerdahl, his crew members sailing the 4,300 mile journey across the South Pacific include Herman Watzinger, played by Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Kunt Haugland/Tobias Santelmann, Bengt Danielsson/Gustaf Skarsgard, Erik Hasselberg/Odd Magnus Williamson,Torstein Raaby/Jakob Oftebro and Anges Kittelsen as Liv Heyerdahl.

Kon-Tiki” brings to the screen an epic tale of exploration, will power, determination, belief, while facing insurmountable odds from within, from outsiders and in the face of the establishment’s clearly defined boundaries and beliefs however inaccurate or wrong.

The journey of Thor Heyerdahl’s lifetime would begin with a dare that lands him sinking in the ice cold waters of Norway saved by a young Erik who will end up accompanying him on his expedition decades later.

An explorer by nature, Heyerdahl visits the South Pacific and a seed is planted in his soul that contradicts the world’s best minds and scientists. Spending years developing his theory that Peruvians were the first settlers of the South Pacific which contradicts the face of conventional wisdom and the better minds of the day, Heyerdahl seeks to fund his recreation of the journey to the exact specification as the early explorer “Kon-Tiki.”

Funded by the Peruvian government the final leg of financing become the treasure trough as this motley crew is offered the storehouses of the United States Military ships. Rations, supplies, shark repellent, everything the men will need to sustain themselves.

Crossing the South Pacific on a balsa wood raft, with limited provisions, no modern technology, only a ham radio, no expert crew, no motor, creating a journey that would re-write history and add a new chapter for scholars to debate for decades.

The crew is made up of six friends:  a refrigerator salesman, who had never been off solid ground, a crew captain who cannot swim, a videographer, former soldiers in WWII, an explorer at heart and enough determination to change their lives and the lives of generations to come.

What they face in the 101 days journey are the whim and will of the winds, the waves, sun, sea, they are intruders in the home of predators, greeted as such they meet the challenges with an iron will to conquer, to take back what was lost in their lives up to that point, to rewrite history and recreate their own destiny.

Kon-Tiki” is another one of those films where the cinematographer must be mentioned. Geir Hartly Andressen creates a masterpiece of beautiful sunny days adrift across the vastness and majesty of the ocean. The inhabitants are beautifully brought to life.

Having spoken with the directors, which will follow separately, I was stunned when they explained computer graphic imagery, CGI, created the mammals and shark scenes. 

The underwater scenes were flawless and left me wondering if a raft had been placed in a shark pool. Those scenes, which again, I thought was completed by a brave crew located a safe distance away was so accurate, amazing, and perfect.

With a film that centers on the oceans one would understand the challenges are centered on the elements and inhabitants. “Kon-Tiki” is no different.

With heightened suspense and intrigue, “Kon-Tiki” renews the explorer spirit and brings the beauty and tests of a faith journey into the living room. “Kon-Tiki” provides a real thrill ride, wave by wave, across the high seas.

Kon-Tiki” won’t get old nor will the beauty dull over time. It is a classic and genuinely delivers solid entertainment. This is a film for the library.

“Kon-Tiki” sails into the Home Entertainment market August 27, 2013.

See it, own it, be inspired!

 

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