Documentary “Mountain” climbs high

“Their lure is a kind of madness.”

What is it: Mountain is a documentary narrated by Willem Dafoe. It’s about…mountains. Obviously. And how we react to – and interact with – them.

Should you see it: If you’re into sweeping visuals, compelling narration, and a look into the human psyche?  Yes. Absolutely. A fan of mountains and doing All The Things on them?  You’ve probably already left this page and headed out to queue up.

What’d I think of itMountain is beautiful and devastating, like the peaks this documentary explores. Yeah, I came out of the gate all cinema-nerdy, but hear me out. If you’re a documentary devotee, you’ll want to check this one out.

This film delivers sweeping shots of mountains that will absolutely take your breath away. I wish I could have seen it at the Air and Space Museum’s IMAX (#realIMAX) in order to fully become immersed. But even in my little TV Cave at home, Mountain impressed me.

Sweeping shots of mountains grab your attention the moment the film starts. From the ground up, from the top down, and panning from all sides. It’s sumptuous and pulls in even the most faint of heart. Seeing all this awe-inspiring beauty, I could definitely understand the draw of scaling these peaks, even if I’d never attempt anything like that myself.

As for the narration, Dafoe has a lovely rumble in voice, which serves the narration perfectly. It’s soothing and compelling, whether the topic is the mountains themselves, our relation to them, or the tragedies that can occur when man and mountain meet.

Mountain delves into dreams versus reality on these peaks. With beautiful shots of people finding their Zen in rare air, there are many of people pushing too hard, to sometimes bloody – and fatal – results. The film  doesn’t shy away from the death that happens if human beings push themselves to try to accomplish what’s beyond them, or the devastation of being on the losing end of bad luck.

Mountain is a tribute to the siren song of the mountains, and those who answer the call to seek their heights. For those folks, this film is a love story. But for someone like me who is just fine looking up at the splendor? It’s a thrilling bit of visual dilettantism that made me want to know more…from the safety of the low ground. Yeah, I was awed by Mountain‘s beauty, but I’m still a gal who’s fine with observing.

Am I now tempted? Not one little bit. I wouldn’t mind going to Everest’s very first base camp though. Because while the mountains don’t pull me to scale them, Mountain has me wanting to see more, even if it’s the view from below.

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