Mortal

Endowed with dangerous powers that he cannot control, Eric wanders alone in the vastness of the Norwegian forests. Following a tragic combination of circumstances in a small town, the young man of American origin finds himself chased by the authorities. Supported by a psychologist on the run, he tries to master and understand the extraordinary nature of his gifts … With his American experiences (“The Jane Doe Identity” and “Scary Stories”), André Øvredal returns to put his camera on his native lands! In his baggage from across the Atlantic, the director revealed by the brilliant “Troll Hunter” brought back, in addition to the English language, the American actor Nat Wolff in order to offer him the title role of this “Torden” (” Mortal “internationally), a return to roots inevitably awaited at the turn … You might as well go there frankly, if you like the often intriguing biases of the filmmaker, the first part of” Mortal “may well serve as a sacred cold shower. The silent introduction of the film where we follow the suffering of his hero lost in the middle of the forest may well arouse our curiosity, when he comes into contact with civilization, “Mortal” dangerously begins to look like any other. lambda adaptation of a bestseller of young adult literature. Admittedly, the magnificent Nordic landscapes and a more intimate European approach will quickly want to place the beginnings of this story in a more realistic setting and a much darker tone than all the mainstream productions of this ilk but, basically, that does not prevent not the film to review the most stereotypical situations of the genre. For a spectator prowled in all these springs, it is thus quickly complicated to become fully involved in the umpteenth destiny of a young man tortured by the power of his superpowers and seeking to escape a world which is obviously not prepared to accept his difference (Nat Wolff’s lack of thickness in the role doesn’t help), hard to believe in the prefabricated birth of feelings between him and the only female character his age put in his way, hard to perceive a real danger around two threats (one on a personal level, the other more global) with basic developments and uniquely designed to serve the evolution of their extraordinary opponent when the time comes … Ultimately, despite a style European more supported, nothing ever seems to succeed in diverting “Mortal” from a course that we know is ultra-marked, even its most spectacular scenes do not really make us fall backwards … However, halfway through course, André Øvredal’s paw will try to turn things around with the introduction of a certain folklore to explain the origin of the hero’s powers. By certain visions gradually revealed to the spectator, the mystery will not really be one (we will also have a kind of “course for dummies” in the matter in order to explain it well thanks to a secondary character) but, as Throughout his filmography, Øvredal’s rather incredible ability to awaken our fascination with the legends he seizes will once again show itself brilliantly to finally give relief to “Mortal”. A few pertinent questions about the place of such a being in our world first emerge (they are touched upon if not deepened), then, as the character of Nat Wolff gets closer to the foundations of its identity, the film will find a real new impetus that can only captivate by the magnitude of what is suddenly updated. Almost everything in the last part of “Mortal” is literally transfigured (Nat Wolff included, visibly aware of the new dimension that the role offers him) and, when a final twist occurs (a bit easy, ok), it allows even to André Øvredal to conclude his film on a note of a terribly attractive blackness, leading us completely in reverse of an outcome which we thought we knew everything in advance! That said, this enthusiasm will have been short-lived, the end credits coming too quickly to end it with a bang, no doubt to leave us in the mouth the taste of a potential much darker sequel.

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