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Saiva (Michelle Yeoh) was cursed as a child and cast from her village. Once she finds happiness with a neighboring tribe, tragedy follows her again. She rescues Anja (Michelle Krusiec) and raises her into the ravages of the artic, away from society and all its evils. One day, however, Saiva helps Loki (Sean Bean), a freezing soldier lost in the artic wilderness. Saiva warns Anja not to be charmed by the first man she's met. Both women, however, fall for Loki, and disaster follows.
Folks who've read my reviews know I don't like to spoil a film experience, but where Far North is concerned, I really can't tell you anything else about the story. My husband thought the obvious of oft villain Sean Bean (Patriot Games, Goldeneye), "He kills them, right?" I countered with, "No, they have threeways." Both are plausible scenarios to the modern viewer, but the things you expect most in Far North aren't the things that happen. BAFTA winning director Asif Kapadia (The Return) and co screenwriter Tim Miller (The Warrior) have taken Maitland's tiny story and stretched into a philosophical and disturbing little statement. The film rises and falls upon Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Tomorrow Never Dies) and she is up to the task as the tormented Saiva. Some of the flashbacks trying to make her look younger seem out of place, but Yeoh's silent looks and stilted dialogue are perfection. It's a shame most Americans don't get to see most of her work; I've enjoyed every film in which I've seen Yeoh.Read more ›
Saiva (Michelle Yeoh) was pronounced evil by a shaman who witnessed her birth: any person who comes near her will fall to harm. Cast out from her tribe, Saiva has survived into adulthood accompanied by the young girl Anja (Michelle Krusiec) she has raised, living a simple existence in tents, dependent on any available food, and always in hiding from a strange pursuing army of soldiers: flashbacks show how Saiva had been physically abused by this strange band of wandering men. When danger approaches, the two women simply move on. Saiva finds an injured and starving soldier Yoki (Sean Bean) who is likewise escaping from the marauding band, and brings him into her tent, nursing him to health, exchanging signs of friendship to a stranger that seems so natural yet so foreign to guarded Saiva. As Yoki recovers, Anja's curiosity about love and men is heightened and soon Anja and Yoki are planning to strike out on their own. When Saiva witnesses the passion between the two people in her life, she reacts as a threatened animal and the horrors that follow echo across the frozen ice of her isolated life.
Michelle Yeoh is astonishingly fine in this difficult role and Krusiec and Bean provide solid ensemble support.Read more ›
`Far North' is a difficult film to rate. I love the cast, the cinematography is breathtaking and the soundtrack haunting. The sound of one solitary cello accompanied by the sound of the wind is both comforting and haunting. However the storyline unfolds slowly, the dialogue is terse at best and much of the interaction between the trio of characters takes place within the confines of a tent enclosure making the visuals dark, murky and at times indiscernible. It's hard to recommend this one, I trust you to make the call on your own.
My Rating: -3 1/2 Stars-.
Notable is the Loki/wolf motif that the screenplay adds to the original story. Loki is the Norse (the movie seems to place this in Russia and Scandinavia is nextdoor) trickster god of dissension and indeed the happenstance entry of the outsider Loki (played by Bean) into the lives of Saiva (Yeoh, in a subtle performance of iron will and pain) and Anja (Krusiec) profoundly disrupts their isolated, close harmony -- and ultimately fulfills the curse on Saiva in a very dark and disturbing way. Also watch for the Loki/wolf motif in another soldier's dogtags in a flashback that Saiva has. I did wish, though, that the sealskin motif in the Maitland story were more emphasized.
It's a grim tale, set against the desolation and expanse of transparent blue icescapes and shadowy, enclosed tent interiors -- both of which capture the foreboding mood. Beautifully shot, too, and realized pretty carefully.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great movie...bizarre twist at the end....will watch many times just for the cinematography alone.Published 3 months ago by matt.c.
Nice adventure film with quite a few twists and turns. Excellent Bean!!Published 4 months ago by Gary
I really like Sean Bean and if he hadn't been in this, don't know if I would have liked it as much. I also like northern survival stories-this was pretty good.Published 6 months ago by Jan E. Stetson
I still love Michelle Yeoh's work in general. But, this was a STINKER all three of the main characters made for money, obviously. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Andrew P. Kluka
far north is a must see movie it is an excellent movie the story is very good it has one of the most daring endings ever put in a movie you wont believe it it is shocking .Published 11 months ago by vernon egolf
I bought Wizard of Oz to give as a gift , I am hoping we do not have the same problem as we do with The Boxtrolls I will not know till the recipient tries to play it ! !Published 11 months ago by Elsie Best
Stunning and beautiful in the same sense the wild polar regions are so. Indeed, the wild is the main character in this film. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ricardo Oliva
Scenery fit the movie: hauntingly beautiful, bleak, and wild. I felt that once Loki(Sean) came on the scene, there would be trouble. Read morePublished 16 months ago by suzietoo