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Norway, 1926. After read a newspaper about Roald Amundsen's missing in the North Pole, his brother Leon leaves his house to walk to the next door Roald's house, to await news. Taking him wrongly as a thief, Leon is hit by Bess Brigads, Roald's younger love interest. Introducing each other, Bess learns by Leon about a child Roald Amundsen, who rose with a happy family with his parents and other three brothers fascinated by North and South Pole, after the unknown and uncharted lands due to the extreme conditions of survival by the so much below zero temperatures. When their father died during one of his usual sea voyages and their mother died by disease a little time later, Roald and Leon strengthened his bonds caring each other in their wish to be the first men to arrive North Pole, where Roald would be the explorer and Leon the financier to get a team and the enough money for the travel. But in 1908 Frederick Cook's claiming to have arrived North Pole force them to change the plans: ...Written by
I ordered this after reading a few reviews--we are big fans of the PBS production "THE LAST PLACE ON EARTH" made a few decades ago. So, anything on Amundsen is a must-see for us.
As others have noted, the pace is a bit slow, but the cinematography was quite good. The South Pole expedition included a gripping sequence wherein one of the party (and a sled) falls into a yawning fissure that suddenly opens up (possibly fictional, but it illustrates the danger of polar travel). After Amundsen returns form his 'successful' South Pole trip (I say that instead of 'victorious'), he is obliged to return to North Pole activities, and is attacked by a polar bear. Scary moment, well-filmed.
Usually, a slower pace will allow the Director to develop the protagonist's character more, but I am still mystified by what made Amundsen tick. He could not abide opposition to his ideas, and seemed to have a 'you cross me--we are done' outlook. Nonetheless, he was the kind of Project Leader you needed when you travelled in the Wild: a meticulous planner, and a tireless worker who did not play mind games with his companions--he kept 'aloof' somewhat to avoid currying 'favorites' & sought the counsel of his team. That was exactly what was wrong with his South Pole competitor, Robert Falcon Scott--a great gamesman and author, but a terrible guy to work for when your life is on the line.
I would recommend the film, if you have an interest in the subject. If you can find 'The Last Place on Earth' (book or dvd), though, I think you will find it longer, but quicker-paced, and give you more insight into Amundsen (even though it splits between him and Scott). 7/10
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