After watching THE AVENGERS, I knew I couldn’t just leave it at that. Such an awesome movie deserves research on my end – meaning, I wanted to know more about the background.
Buying THOR was never a question; not of ‘if’ anyways, and also not really of ‘when’. Well. I think I did it, like, two days after I’d been to the cinema? 😀 Around the same time I bought a BD player… and thus also the THOR Bluray. Yep. Gooood decision.
Watching the movie with a friend, we both agreed that we definitely have to brush up on our knowledge about Norse mythology. I admit that I initially had my problems understanding the movie. So I unfortunately (I’m so not kidding. Coughs.) had to watch the movie again. And again. Aaaaaaaand… again. I even watched it with Audio Commentary by Kenneth Branagh. I just can’t get enough of it. Damn it being so awesome.
Research was what helped here as well. I remember that I had a few lessons that also included Norse mythology, and how the universe was created, in school. We took a look at all those mythologies in astronomy. Quite embarrassing for me – I even *had* the Norse mythology to explain to my classmates… only that I didn’t commit it to memory. Yeah, shame on me. Still, I remembered vaguely that there once was something, and while reading about Asgard, Odin & Co, it all came back slowly.
To me, THOR is after LABYRINTH the first movie that I think is really inspiring. There are countless tales to tell and to refer to, from the comics and the mythology. For example, one the first things I wondered about was why Sif is dark-haired, whereas all other Asgardians are blond/fair haired. It’s interesting since there’s actually a story to this from real Norse mythology about Loki being the one to cut her long golden hair she was very proud of, and when he is being forced by Thor have the dwarves make a headpiece that grows like her hair, and is golden as well – while in the Marvel comics, Loki steals the new hair from the dwarves without paying and thus it turns to black. (In mythology it seems also to be implied that there is a love/jealousy triangle between Loki/Sif/Thor, but that’s another story).
THOR is to me consisting of two stories – the development of Thor to a responsible man who can be a wise king, and the downfall of Loki due to everything he learns in the course of the movie – first and foremost of course who his father is and what *he* is.
The movie showed very well these two storylines in just the right amount of parallel telling – how both brothers learn and grow, even though it might not always be to their best. While Thor is finally realizing that he needs to overcome his hotheadedness and kind of finds to himself, Loki’s world is falling apart. To some extent, both seem to change roles – Thor from “madness” to deliberateness, and Loki just the other way around.
In the end, no one really wins, which seems to be frustrating in the first moment, but makes sense when taken into account that the story doesn’t end here; doesn’t even end in AVENGERS.
As for the movie itself – it definitely deserves to be called epic and picturesque. As director Branagh says in the commentary, the set designers and effects studios (and there were many of them…!) did an incredible job. It is unbelievable how much attention they paid to the details, and just how impressive it makes especially the scenes on Asgard. And the universe. Oh dear, the universe. The flight through Yggdrasil during the end credits that originally was meant to be shown in the beginning, but had to be cut because they didn’t have the time, so they included it for the credits. Which makes me very happy, because that would have been such a pity to waste it.
Branagh’s comic style in filming might be a bit questionable; he said that he did all those angled shots because that’s how comics often look as well, but it becomes a bit irritating over the course of the film. It doesn’t change the fact that he had some fabulous shots in there, I’d never deny that. I just think that he overdid it a little; obviously being too motivated.
Nevertheless doesn’t it diminish it the fact that this is a fantastic movie with wonderful actors and an incredible team behind the scenes. I’m not that much of a film fan, being more the TV series junkies, and I’m very picky when it comes to the movies I count as the ones I like; even more so with those I love.
But THOR actually made it on the list of the movies I love, and really: that means something.