Review: 'Kon-Tiki' is a legend in the making Special

Posted May 3, 2013 by Sarah Gopaul
'Kon-Tiki' is the story of a legendary explorer’s epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in an effort to prove it was possible for South Americans to historically settle in Polynesia.
Entertainment One
Without evidence, or at least an eye witness, it's difficult to convince people that something long believed to be true is false. A theory is just that until it is practically applied. In Kon-Tiki, a man is laughed out of every office he enters until he risks his life to prove his theory.
After almost drowning as a child, Thor Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) still couldn't promise his parents he wouldn't do something equally stupid again in the future. As an adult he explores the world, resting in Polynesia where he discovers the country may have been cultivated by South Americans, not Asians. For 10 years, Thor tries to convince anyone who will listen to no avail. Desperate to show the world he's right, he decides to replicate the Polynesian conqueror's original journey from Peru on a raft made of the same materials used 1,500 years ago. Guided by the wind and current, Thor is convinced he will sail straight to the Polynesian shore.
Based on the real life adventure of Thor and his novice crew of five friends, this picture invokes a range of emotions and reactions from the audience. The new theory appeals to people's curiosity, drawing them into the movie. The beauty of untouched nature often leaves the viewer in awe. The risk of injury, death and failure keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. The effortless humor incorporated throughout the narrative is an unexpected source of entertainment.
In spite of the unique personalities introduced at the start of the voyage, it's difficult to connect to any one individual; though you do become attached to the crew as a whole. Maybe it's because it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish some of them under all the beards and shaggy hair.
Thor's enthusiasm is infectious even if sometimes it seems to cloud his judgement. His dedication to the journey is understandable, but the viewer can't help but question the sanity of his company risking their lives to support a friend. Nonetheless, they band together under distress, surviving severe storms, shark encounters and personal conflicts. The real-life documentary filmed during the voyage won the Academy Award for best documentary in 1951.
Never reaching beyond the confines of the raft once it sets sail, the film does excellent work captivating the audience with nothing but five men on open waters. It manages to express and capture enough variety to leave the audience wanting for nothing when they leave the theatre.