Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg collaborate for the docu-drama Kon-Tiki, which is a recreation of a recreation. It is about Thor Heyerdahl’s epic sea journey that takes place in 1947. It brings the adventure to a new set of armchair adventurers.
Pal Sverre Valheim Hagen plays the Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl. He sets sail with five other sailors in order to prove that Polynesia could have been populated from the Americas and not Asia as most believed then. To prove his point, Heyerdahl builds a balsa-wood raft and sets off from Peru. He hopes to recreate the journey powered only by the sea current and wind. He is now 5,000 miles in the middle of the ocean with no back-up plan.
If you have read Heyerdahl’s book then you already know that his journey was a success. In the movie, the sailors encounter typical troubles in the sea, which are storms, sharks, and human conflicts that arise when you have six people confined in a small space for more than 100 days.
Kon-Tiki is nominated for an Oscar award. It is a bit cheesy in some parts but manages to be entertaining all throughout. The movie is done well considering it is made at sea, which could have been a logistical challenge to the crew. The Pacific Ocean scenes were actually done in the waters off Malta while the tropical ones were in Thailand and Maldives.
It is said to be the most expensive Norwegian film production in history. And the result is astounding. The story and the filming are worth the money spent.
Heyerdahl’s journey is truly inspirational. It is one of the last low technology adventures of the 20th century. Six men on a floating raft put their faith in a crazy idea to achieve something against insurmountable odds and manage to win in the end.