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Following a grueling climb up Kanchenjunga, Hong-gil and Mu-taek become fast friends and partners in climb. The peak of their professional careers comes when they become the 14th team to scale the Himalayas. But the climb came at a price: both sustained injuries and Hong-gil was compelled to retire. Years later, Hong-gil is a renowned lecturer and Mu-taek takes up an assignment to go up Everest. When Hong-gil learns that Mu-taek has gone missing, he blames himself for encouraging the younger man's plans. Looking at a photo of Mu-taek's frozen corpse still trapped on the mountain, he decides to put together a rescue team to retrieve the body. Despite warnings, concerns over his injured leg and treacherous storms, Hong-gil leads the expedition. Written by
Those Korean men must be the most emotional males on Earth! That's how they are depicted in this Korean epic where just about every male actor cries! It would come as no surprise if Kleenex had sponsored the film. It's just a shame that these brave, intrepid explorers are reduced to a quivering, sobbing mess as it undermines their courage and tenacity to conquer mountains. If it's melodrama you want then this serves it up by the bucketloads.
Hong-Gil Um (Jeong-min Hwang) and Moo-Taek Park (Jung Woo) first meet in the early 1990s when they endure a grueling climb up Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. They become friends and later that decade, become the 14th team to scale the Himalayas. However, Hong-Gil is forced to retire after sustaining a serious injury. Several years later, Hong-Gil is a renowned lecturer and Moo-Taek takes up an assignment to climb Mount Everest. Disaster strikes and Hong-Gil must come out of retirement to again face the challenges of the world's highest mountain.
This is probably Korean drama at its best but would be considered excessive melodrama for English speaking audiences. The not-so- subtle acting just doesn't cross the cultural divide. There's no doubting that all the actors inject their emotions wholeheartedly into their roles but a sobfest is not the answer. I wouldn't know how other moviegoers reacted as I was the only person in the cinema. When the actors are not crying uncontrollably, it's quite an enjoyable film. I just don't want my emotions to be manipulated like this.
Although Sang-joon Hwang's music score is beautiful to listen to, it is clear that it has been designed to contribute to the melodrama. On its own, it's musical brilliance but when it is accompanied with the images it is overly sympathetic and manipulative.
The cinematography, particularly of the mountainous regions, is grand and spectacular. No expense has been spared in filming the climbs and the outdoor locations. The visual and sound effects also bring to life the treacherous conditions the climbers had to face.
Based on true events, "The Himalayas" wears its heart on its sleeve. There's nothing wrong with that in small doses but when it's close to two hours of everyone crying then it becomes repetitive. It is still an enjoyable film at times that will be appreciated by those viewers who are not fussed with excessive melodrama. http://mlaimlai2.wix.com/magical-movie-review
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