Trolls: retold

Usually, I steer clear of documentaries. I find the pacing too slow for my liking, which is how documentaries are made. When I saw the title of the film — Trollhunter — I would have never thought that the movie was going to be in the form of a documentary (or a mockumentary, more specifically). I thought it was going to be a fictional adventure, so I was stunned (and slightly disappointed) when I realized that Trollhunter is a (fictional) documentary.

Despite my obvious dislike for documentary films, while post-processing the film inside my head, I realized that the film was not so peculiar at all. I thought about it this way: it was a different way of showing their audiences about Norwegian folklore. It is like how there are various retellings of Greek and Roman mythology (which are my two favorite types of mythology). If I do not find those modern retellings weird (I actually find them really interesting and cool), then why can’t I appreciate Trollhunter, a documentary-type retelling of Norwegian mythology?

As I thought about it in this way, I started to dig deeper into the “weird” beliefs found in the film. I found it strange that trolls could pinpoint Christian blood. Some say that people started believing less in trolls when they learned about Christianity. Trolls apparently got “offended” which led them to hating Christians. Therefore, whenever trolls smelled Christian blood, they would attack. Others say that it was merely based off of Norwegian folklore that the ancients created back in the day. It is interesting how these Norwegian beliefs were integrated into the movie.

My favorite thing about the movie is the fact that they humanized Hans. Hans seemed so cold and indifferent at the start, most especially when he refused to participate in the students’ documentary. As the film goes on and he agrees to participate, he still appears to have no concern and compassion whatsoever for anyone but himself. He was only keeping the students close to him because he had a motive of his own — to use their documentary to expose the trolls. However, as the film passed, I realized how human he was through the emotions he showed. The real reason why he keeps hunting trolls is because of the fact that he has seen what they had done to innocent people — pregnant women, children, etc. I am the type of person whose favorite characters are usually the mean ones on the exterior but have hearts of gold. Hans is one of those characters.

Besides Hans, the other main characters were also easy to empathize with. They were just students trying to give their all for their project — I can relate (hahaha). Even though the path ahead of them was dangerous, they still went through with it because they needed to do so for the grade. I also liked how each character had a different personality. Thomas was the leader; he was always the one who pushed the group to continue. He was confident to stay in front of the camera at all times. He was also the most eager in finding out the truth about the trolls. Johanna, the group’s sound engineer, seemed to be a bland character to me up until the part when Kalle dies and Finn confronts them about their tapes. I admire how she stood her ground when Finn threatened them to give them their camera. Kalle, the cameraman, was the quietest one of the group, but when he died, it was so difficult for me to watch. I felt so bad for him because he was just trying his best, going along with the group, but he ends up dying in the end just because he was Christian.

Trollhunter was peculiar, but it was interesting. It was an interesting play on Norwegian folklore. I am glad I came to appreciate it at the end.

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