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Touching the Void (2003)
The BEST docudrama about survival!
I've seen quite a lot of films and generally like all genre. So I don't mind watching a documentary every now and then. And I never review any title before as most of the time, most existing reviews are more or less conforms to what I think of about a particular film. But after watching Touching the Void, I feel really compelled to say a word or two. It is by far the best docudrama I've ever seen.
As a film, it is near-perfect. The way they shoot some scenes was very effective especially during the climbing and their descent before the broken leg tragedy. At times, I kind of forget that it was all re-enactment of the events narrated by the legendary mountaineers.
Despite knowing that both of them survived at the end, some scenes were really heartbreaking. The film effectively shows the state of utter hopelessness in Joe's struggle for survival. One can only imagine what he'd been through after falling down into an ice crevice, with a broken leg, extremely dehydrated while already exhausted both physically and mentally - basically lost in a middle of nowhere with very low chance of survival. And as someone who has been through some kind of utter hopelessness situation myself, at least mentally, I can totally relate on a certain level.
And despite the overwhelming odds, he never stopped struggling and kept going and hoping, knowing full well that he and only he himself will be able to get him out of there. And as the story goes on, you can't help but be dragged along through his painful struggle from the way he climbed out of the crevice, dragging himself slowly off the huge icy area and to the excruciatingly painful scenes of repeated falling downs in the rocky area.
And finally to his rather humorous and yet quite creepy and sad state of mental breakdown with the Boney M song after yet again faced with hopeless situation that will be the end of him, so it seems. And it was expected of someone who has gone through such perilous ordeal. For me, he really did, in a sense, touched the void.
And in the end, you can't help but cheer and be happy for him and at the same time relieved as he did finally found by his friends, and survived to tell this heroic survival story.
This film is one of the very few out there that truly shows the amazing capability of human body and mind for survival. For many, it seems almost superhuman and considered impossible given the odds and circumstances.
And I don't know how they do the effects, if any, but the state of the actors after been through such ordeal was very real, from the extremely dehydrated facial skins, their expressions and the blacked fingers due to frostbites.
Overall, this docudrama is near-perfect in my opinion. In term of film that portrays the human struggle to survive, it is the BEST I've ever seen. I'm so glad to finally seen it after been able to get my hands on it very recently. Rated 9/10!