A new, English-language version of the Norwegian film dramatization of explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition opened to mixed reviews at cinemas in the US over over the weekend. Some critics gave it good marks, others wished they could have seen the original Norwegian version that was nominated for an Oscar.
The international launch of Kon-Tiki continues to spread around the world. The film is now showing, for example, in 700 cinemas in Russia, was the second-most-seen film in Denmark last week and also is drawing crowds in Mexico and Germany. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) recently reported that it passed the break-even point as well, and now is generating profits.
It was New York’s and LA’s turn to roll out the film from Friday and it eventually will be shown at around 400 cinemas in the US. Most countries see the original version with subtitles, but in the US audiences are being shown an English version that’s also 17 minutes shorter than the original, allegedly to better appeal to American attention spans.
Some US critics viewed the film as old-fashioned with mediocre special effects, while both the LA Times’ and New York Times’ critics questioned the need for an English version and the credibility of Norwegian actors speaking English to one another.
While Kon-Tiki won rave reviews from Norwegian critics when it premiered last year, the film failed to be named Norway’s best film of 2012. That honor, voted on by local film critics, went to another much less well-known film, Som du ser meg (As you see me), directed by Dag Johan Haugerud, who was hailed “for allowing some of Norway’s best actors to perform brilliantly.” The film tells three stories about women who land in situations that are both sad and comical. It starred, among others, Ane Dahl Torp, Laila Goody, Henriette Steenstrup and Andrine Sæther.