In a dangerous adventure, six men sail from Peru to Polynesia on a fragile balsa-wood raft risking their lives for an idea that could change history. Led by Thor, a handsome captain who can't swim, the crew have no modern equipment and only a parrot for company. Battling tidal waves, sharks and demons of the deep, it is six men against nature as the Kon-Tiki strives to reach land.
A magnificent adventure story
- Kon-Tiki review by RP
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You rated this film: 5
When I were but a lad, everyone knew of the amazing 1947 journey from S. America westwards to the S. Pacific islands by Thor Heyerdahl on a balsa-wood raft. I suspect that this knowledge is fading into history, so it's good to have fresh life breathed into the epic tale.
Beautifully photographed, the film tells the story from Thor Heyerdahl and his wife developing the theory, through fundraising, the selection of a crew, building the raft and the trials of the voyage.
But unfortunately, despite this film having been nominated for the 2013 Oscar for 'Best Foreign Language Film' only to be beaten by the excellent 'Amour', it has not (February 2014) been released in the UK, either in cinemas or on disc. And that's a real pity - the film is excellent. It also means that a rental copy is not available from Cinema Paradiso...
Unusually, the film was made in both Norwegian and English, each scene apparently shot first in one language then the other. A copy is fairly easy to track down - there are PAL Region 2 versions available in spoken English and with German, Dutch or Spanish subtitles, and you can buy them via Amazon, with a little bit of digging. However, beware the NTSC Region 1 version which has been significantly shortened. I chose to buy an Australian Region 4 version that has spoken English and English subtitles on eBay.
This is a magnificent adventure story - see it on the biggest screen you can. 5/5 stars - highly recommended.
[Aside: Yes, 'Amour' did deserve the Oscar - I rated that film as 5/5, as I did 'A Royal Affair' which was also a contender. All are different; all are excellent in their own right]
In the 1970s Thor Heyerdahl's heroic crossing of the eastern Pacific on a balsa raft was common knowledge and often mentioned. I have not heard of it since. This film might appeal to youths with a sense of adventure or 50s + who remember some fuss about it many years ago. There are some heart stopping moments of drama during their crossing and a real sense of desperate tension as they float in the massive ocean. Not a blockbuster by any stetch of the imagination but good clean fun. Shame it was given a 15 rating I think that was a bit harsh, it has cut off some of the most appreciative spectators.