Google+

Kon-Tiki Film Review

Kon-Tiki 95910_gal
Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Norwegian Anthropologist Replicates Polynesia Settlers’ Migration in Oscar-Nominated Seafaring Epic

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the conventional wisdom was that Polynesia had been settled by Asians arriving from the Far East. But it’s one thing for a pompous professor to simply sit in an ivory tower and speculate about who might have discovered the island group some 1,500 years ago, and quite another to go about proving a theory correct by attempting to replicate the putative pioneers’ perilous feat.

While doing research in the Marquesas on the Isle of Fatu Hiva in the mid-Thirties, a Norwegian anthropologist named Thor Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) came up with a novel idea about the roots of the natives. After studying the local fauna and flora, watching the flow of the tides, and listening to aborigine folklore about their ancestors’ arduous trek towards the setting sun, he reasoned that the region must have been settled by tribes migrating there from South America.

Then, when his iconoclastic notion was roundly ridiculed by scholarly colleagues back in academia, Thor decided to prove his detractors wrong by mounting a 5,000-mile expedition from Peru to Polynesia. And although he knew nothing about sailing and couldn’t even swim, he did have the sense to assemble a team capable of assisting him in the dangerous endeavor.

The plan was to build a balsa wood raft identical to the type used by indigenous people in pre-Columbian times, painstakingly following their methods of construction down to the smallest detail. And since they would not be able to steer this vessel christened the Kon-Tiki, Thor estimated it would take about three months for the currents and winds to take them to their destination.

His intrepid crew was comprised of four fellow Norwegians and a Swede, including childhood friend, Erik Hesselberg (Odd Magnus Williamson), the navigator; radioman Knut Haugland (Tobias Santelmann), a decorated World War II veteran; Torstein Raaby (Jakob Oftebro), another radio expert; Herman Watzinger (Anders Baasmo Christiansen), an engineer; and Bengt Danielsson (Gustaf Skarsgard), the Swedish steward.

Co-directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, Kon-Tiki faithfully chronicles their historic, transoceanic voyage. Despite the fact that most of the picture’s dialogue is English, it somehow earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Language Film category earlier this year.

The men set sail in the spring of 1947, encountering storms, shark attacks, ship rot, insubordination and a host of other challenges en route. The deliberately-paced production repeatedly harks back to a bygone era when much of the Earth’s surface was yet to be explored.

Replete with breathtaking Pacific panoramas shot on location, Kon-Tiki is worth watching for the captivating visuals alone. However, the storytelling is solid, too, with all adding up to a fitting tribute to the enviable exploits of the legendary Thor Heyerdahl.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence
In English, Norwegian, Swedish and French with subtitles
Running time: 118 minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

To see a trailer for Kon-Tiki, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vgi05h4_oBs

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness … [Read More its Good for You...]