The foreign film market has delivered some great films throughout the years, but most of them are an acquired taste here in the US. Not all of them live up to the hype, but some of them its all perception of what the film is going for. The winner of the 2012 Best Foreign Language film Kon Tiki clearly got critical praise, but is it one that lives up to the hype or will it get swept away.
Kon Tiki follows Thor Heyerdahl, a young Norwegian adventurer who embarks on an astonishing expedition to journey 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean on the Kon-Tiki raft after suspecting that the South Sea Islands had been settled by ancient South Americans from thousands of miles to the east. This is a really good movie that is worth all the props as it tells an amazing story and is well acted, but it will not work for everyone. Despite the adventurous nature of this journey this is a pretty slow paced movie for most of it and once it gets to the “adventure” story seems to never really push it to get the danger and importance across as much as it should. While it does play as a brilliantly epic film in relation to the story it is telling, it just never really felt as dangerous as it should have. This is partly due to the score, while good, doesn’t set that tone it needed. The performances were all top notch, but some things happen so quick and then move on that there is little time to really let it sink in. These are flaws, but at times necessary to tell this truly epic true story without trying to water it down and turn it into a generic action adventure film as opposed to a historical account.
This is a pretty amazing film, despite the issues mentioned above. It’s not for everyone, but if you understand what you are getting into and the way this film is structured then you are likely to understand it a lot more. This isn’t an artsy film like a lot that end up winning the Oscar, but instead a real life adventure that was a pretty amazing feat that is worth checking out.