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/ Film on Netflix: The Climb

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Annoying Twit - on 31 Dec 2017
There's a French film, 'The Climb', on Netflix, about a man climbing Everest.

There are some things about this film that make me slightly uncomfortable. There are spoilers in my reasoning, so please don't read ahead if you want to see the film and not have it spoiled.

The plot is that a man without climbing experience wants to impress a woman, and says that he would climb Everest for her, which she jokes about. Except that he goes to Nepal to do it. He meets a Sherpa who appears to be depicted as comic relief, a bit of a 'smiling fool' some of the time.

The hero has no money, no proper equipment, and no place on an expedition. But, somehow he gets all of these without much difficulty. At base camp it's revealed that he doesn't know how to put the equipment on, let alone use it or climb. However, somehow he perseveres. When the plot demands, his Sherpa becomes more serious, which is used as a plot device to give the 'hero' climbing skills by being quickly trained. But, the whole concept seems wrong to me. Particularly with events near the end to do with oxygen and potentially aborting the climb.

It seems to glorify the concept of someone going to Everest utterly unprepared and just 'winging it', while depicting the climb as something any random person can do if they are motivated enough. I'm particularly unhappy with the concept of the 'hero' refusing advice to turn around, but the 'hero' being proved right. As if some random person knows better than an experienced and qualified Sherpa. And what does 'finding oxygen on the way' mean?

It's a pity as there are things depicted in the film which I think are good. E.g. the film doesn't do the typical skip straight to base camp from France, but depicts the trek to base camp taking in Namche Bazaar etc. in a similar way to how Hillary's account of the 1953 expedition also showed this part of the journey. Not having been there myself, I can't know which sets/scenes are filmed in the the actual locations, and which ones aren't. But the scenery shown is unsurprisingly stunning.

I'd appreciate hearing what people with direct experience of Everest and/or the Himalayas think of the film.
The Marmot - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Annoying Twit:

I watched cliffhanger once - there were more holes than a Swiss cheese. It's pure fiction and escapism, the plot you describe is no different.

Light entertainment and nothing more

Happy new year

Trangia on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Annoying Twit:

I watched it last night, and understand the points you make. It was a good "yarn" and stunning scenery. The girl is lovely and I would have climbed Everest for her at his age

I was, however, very surprised to learn at the end that it was based on a so called "true" event for many of the reasons you give.

Still entertaining though.
Annoying Twit - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to The Marmot:

I agree in some ways, but Cliffhanger (or K2 where, if I remember which film is which correctly, someone jumps an impossible gap at altitude etc.) at least doesn't depict irresponsible behaviour in quite the same way as 'The Climb' does.

In reply to Trangia:

At a wild guess, I would think that the real person behind the film would have been significantly more financially secure than the main character of the film. ... (googles). It seems that the story is based on Nadir Dendoune, who is a freelance journaliist of Algerian descent, and not the jobless Frenchman of Senegalese descent of the film.
The Marmot - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Annoying Twit:

And Into the Wild is a great nonfiction film which depicts irresponsible behaviour, which ultimately results in tragedy. Still good 'entertainment' though - I guess the key difference being the lead actor in The Climb doesn't meet his demise?
Doghouse - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Annoying Twit:

at least doesn't depict irresponsible behaviour in quite the same way as 'The Climb' does.



Did Bear Ghrylls have a hand in it? I bet he did the fecker.. . ..
Annoying Twit - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to The Marmot:

This is tricky, as this thread was meant to discuss what happened in The Climb from an 'Expedition and Alpine' viewpoint; hence, it was posted here not 'The Culture Bunker'.

'Into the Wild' is in my opinion about as far from 'The Climb' as you can get. ITW sticks to known facts where these are known, and fills in the gaps plausibly, to my eyes. It's not so much the outcome that's important in my view, but how the process is depicted. In my opinion: ITW does this reasonably and accurately, while TC doesn't. Also, McCandless doesn't really hurt anyone but himself. The kind of behaviour I see in TC is very different. An experienced Sherpa is talked into going to the summit against The Sherpa's wishes. Oxygen bottles are seemingly stolen on the way ('find' oxygen bottles). I believe that I've read of fatalities on Everest where stashes of oxygen needed for descent were found to have been stolen. That's different from McCandless who does not appear to put others in significant additional danger.

The moral for ITW is how much someone unprepared can get themselves into trouble in the wild, and such is a cautionary tale. TC is the opposite of this, showing how someone unprepared can easily triumph, and clearly knows better than those mountaineering experts telling them they can't do it.

There is some truth in the TC tale, e.g. Nadir Dendoune was not an experienced climber before going to Everest. But, he was well financed (20,000 euros for the ascent). And even if the details of 'finding' oxygen were true, that's still a shameful act to 'acquire' them in this way. I believe.
L shiningstar - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to Annoying Twit:

I just saw it tonight and agree with you. Everest, from what I hear, is no walk in the park. I've hiked other smaller mountains and struggled on them. I'm still pretty inexperienced myself and wouldn't try Everest at this point.

Writers/directors do take a lot of liberties with actual events, more so to create more drama and audience appeal. The film was alright, a bit cheesy. I get their point of believing in yourself so you can do anything, but this was a little much.

I've heard of people "just winging" Mt Blanc. It's touted by many as a "walk in the park" so there are a lot of people who flock to it each year, yet some experience tragedy because they are told it is very easy when it's not. So same thing there.
L ThomasSwe - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to Annoying Twit:

First time poster here so bare with me.

 

I believe it´s Vertical Limit you´re thinking of and it´s Chris O´Donnell who makes the jump.

The only good thing with it is that it got Izabella Scorupco in it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ooz0oRoE20

 

Post edited at 09:01
Fergal - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to Annoying Twit:

It's a true story, the protagonist is real, he did just really wing it.

In a way it is a good story, because it shows that a guy from a poor estate with little in the way of opportunity could break down barriers,  by joining the Everest club on a whim, the domain of the white middle classes, he proved that climbing Everest if you have the drive and ambition really is possible for anyone and in the end all to just impress a girl,  he never climbed again.

PS. He was on a guided trip, he lied about previous experience on the form, saying he had climbed Mont blanc, Kilimanjaro etc.

Post edited at 11:10
L anaeurope - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to Annoying Twit:

Love makes you irresponsable. Loved the romantic part of it but you are right, you can't just climb Everest like it;s your back yard tree..

john arran - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to Annoying Twit:

> As if some random person knows better than an experienced and qualified Sherpa

Apparently there are 17 million UK citizens who seem to think they know more about economics than the vast majority of experts in that field.

WaterMonkey - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to Annoying Twit:

I enjoyed the film, I took it for what it was, light entertainment. It didn't make me want to rush out and climb Everest on a whim anymore than Rocky made me want to rush into a boxing ring with BA Baracus

I agree, the girl was gorgeous.


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