Road Rash Reviews

The Promised Land Digital, Blu-ray and DVD Review*****

Cert 15 | 127 mins | 2024

5 star sweeping biographical drama.

The Promised Land is a 2023 epic historical drama film directed by Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair, The Dark Tower) with a screenplay from Arcel and Anders Thomas Jensen (Riders of Justice).

Based on the best selling 2020 novel The Captain and Ann Barbara by Ida Jessen, it is coming to UK Digital Platforms from 29th April 2024 and on Blu-ray and DVD from 6th May 2024, courtesy of Icon Film Distribution. It is presented in Danish, with English subtitles.

“All soil can be cultivated. A third of the realm lies barren and unused. A stain on our country. I can tame the land and build the first Heath settlement.”

The year is 1755 and the Kings of Denmark have been trying unsuccessfully for decades to tame the brutal and barren Heath of Jutland. In a Poorhouse for Veterans in Copenhagen, Captain Ludvig Kahlen (Mads Mikkelsen – Doctor Strange, Another Round) has returned from twenty five years service in the German army.

He approaches the Royal Treasury for permission to attempt to cultivate and settle the Heath, and while initially reluctant to help, when they learn that he is prepared to fund it himself using his Captain’s pension, they agree. He is assisted by local priest Anton Eklund (Gustav Lindh – The Northman, Queen of Hearts), who helps him to find staff for his new home. Johannes Eriksen (Morten Hee Andersen – Before It Ends) is a farmer and his wife Ann Barbara (Amanda Collin – The Exception, A Horrible Woman) will be his housekeeper.

He soon finds himself in direct conflict with local landowner Frederick De Schinkel (Simon Bennebjerg – The Pact, The Man), who insists the land belongs to him, even though it is the Kings’ land. Kahlen also finds he has a soft spot for De Schinkels’ cousin Edel (Kristine Kujath Thorp – Ninjababy) which does nothing to aid relations.

They are also plagued by outlaws known as the Taters and his life is complicated even further when a young girl from their camp, Anmai Mus (Melina Hagberg) turns up on his doorstep and refuses to leave. Can this unlikely bunch succeed where all who came before have failed?

“One of Mr. De Schinkels’ tenant farmers ran away from his contract recently. Rumour has it he’s still hiding in the area. johannes Eriksen and his wife. Does that ring a bell?”

The Promised Land is a brilliant film, dramatic and epic in scope. It boasts amazing cinematography with breathtaking vistas at every turn. Despite its location, there can be no mistake that this is a Western in every sense of the word, a tale of one man fighting to tame a wild frontier.

Based upon the life of a real person, Mads Mikkelsen is nothing short of magnificent in the role of Ludvig Kahlen, a man undaunted and full of determination, who is portrayed here to perfection. It’s full of excellent surprises and twists, not least the final one which I completely failed to predict.

This is a great film, the two hour runtime passes very quickly and I would thoroughly recommend adding it to your collection.

“Poor little Anmai Mus. Hers was but a short, hard life. After 14 days with no food, hunger forced her to thievery. Her Mom and Dad didn’t want her and sold her to the outlaws in the North…”

Icon Film Distribution presents The Promised Land on Digital from 29th April and on Blu-ray & DVD 6th May

Photos from Henrik Ohsten

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DirectorNikolaj ARcel
AuthorIda Jesson
GenreBiography, drama, history
StarringMads Mikkelsen, Simon Bennebjerg, Amanda Collin, Morten Hee Andersen, Kritine Kujath Thorpe
Available to buy on : Own The Promised Land on DVD Own The Promised Land on Blu-Ray
Category: Blu-ray, Digital, dvd, film, Review