The film, Touching the Void, which was directed by Kevin Macdonald is an adventurous and thriller movie. This movie is about two young men who pursued their passion of climbing a mountain in Peru known as Siula Grande (Smith 16). The two men named Joe Simpson and Simon Yates were confident and ambitious to climb the snowy mountain to the top despite the dangers they knew they would face such as dehydration and frost bites. The two young men had the goal of climbing the mountain to the top and come back down as they were trained and professional mountain climbers. However, this did not work as they had expected in that they experienced difficulties as they descended from the mountain. Due to massive snow storms, they could hardly find places to anchor their ropes. As a result, they tied ropes to each other such that one person acted as an anchor though it was hazardous because they were ordained to rely on their partners for support (Cooper 13). This was disastrous in that Simpson fell off and broke his leg though he did not slide off the mountain because he was anchored to Yates. This meant that Yates had a choice to leave Simpson because one can hardly climb with a broken leg.
However, Yates was hopeful such that he did not leave Simpson regardless of the snow storms and the level of dehydration that they had. Yates used the rope he had to lower Simpson down the mountain so that they could continue descending the mountain. It is interesting the movie used a dramatic music as the audience watched Yates drop Simpson but suddenly fell into a cliff and hanged in the mid-air. This was a dramatic and powerful scene in that the audience views the dilemma that faced the two mountain climbers in that Simpson had a broken leg but was hanging in midair whereas Yates was almost sliding such that he could have ended up falling into the cliff and would have both lost their lives. However, Yates clenched his teeth and decided to cut off the rope so as to save his life. Though this is dramatic and horrific film, the audience is relieved that both men survived because the film shows the real Simpson and Yates as they narrate the horrendous events that they experienced while climbing. The two actors in the movie who take their place are Brendan Mackey who took Simpson’s place and Nicholas Aaron who posed as Yates (Cooper 17).
When Simpson fall into a crevice, it is interesting that the camera is awaiting him in the crevice. This makes the audience scared in that it is not clear what will happen inside the crevice. The film shows Simpson in a state of desperation because he cannot help himself in any way due to his broken leg and that he did not have any supplies. He is devastated. When Simpson narrates his state in the crevice, he tears up because he was all alone and frightened that he will die in the middle of nowhere (Smith 16). Simpson is shown as not resentful towards Yates for cutting off the rope by explaining he would have been mandated to do the same if he was in his shoes. It is clear that Simpson cannot climb out of the crevice because of his condition. This means that he is helpless but that does not hinder him from trying hard to escape his destiny, which was to die in the crevice. Instead, he crawls and uses his rope to slide down the crevice. The high shot film angles are significant in the movie in that they show the enormous mountain size but narrow down to a tiny crevice where Simpson was shouting for help (Smith 21). It is depressing that no one could hear his voice due to the blizzard and the fact that the mountain is gigantic because it reduces him to nothing.
This movie is horrific but at the same time inspiring because it depicts Simpson has having the human will to continue. As an audience, I believe that his gut helped him survive the claws of death. He kept pushing such that he used one leg to hop and also crawled down the mountain. It is luring that Simpson only pushed that hard for survival so as not to die alone. In addition, Simpson leg was fixed by the doctors and now climbs again regardless of the horrific experience he had in the Peru Mountains. This illustrates the idea that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
In conclusion, it is clear that the movie is both horrific and powerful in that through the camera angles that illustrate the events of the two climbers. Through the loud music played in certain scenes, connects the audience to the experience of Simpson and Nates in that the audience can relate to the disappointments and frustrations that the two climbers had. The movie is powerful in that Simpson is shown as having a broken leg, dehydrated and starved yet that experience did not mark the end of his career. This means that he still practices mountain climbing despite the fateful event he faced in Siula Grande Mountain.
Cooper, Rand Richards. "Scaling the Depths: 'Touching the Void' & 'Eternal Sunshine'." Commonweal 23 Apr. 2004: 12-8. Print.
Smith, Adam. 'Touching the Void': Survival through Thick and Thin Air." The Washington Post [New York] 23 Jan. 2004: 15-22. Print.
Touching the void. Dir. Kevin Macdonald. Perf. Joe Simpson and Simon Yates. Film Four, 2003. Blu-Ray.