Meru is the electrifying story of three elite American climbers—Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk—bent on achieving the impossible.
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★★★★ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
The foolishly fantastic
power of passion, the
dangers of dreaming.
★★★★ review by Kyle Faber on Letterboxd
Scavenger Hunt #12
Task #17: A documentary film about a subject you don't have much interest in
"Jimmy & Conrad have climbed Everest four or five times. Jimmy even skied off of the top. But Meru is the anti-Everest."
Meru tells the story of three men - Conrad Anker, Renan Ozturk, & co-director Jimmy Chin - as they attempt to reach the summit of Mount Meru, one of the most dangerous peaks of the Himalayan Mountains.
This is one of those documentaries that is great because of content instead of form. The at home shots are very cliche, with tracking shots done with DSLRs on sliders abound. The great thing about this movie technically is how much footage was shot. Extraneous conversations, accidents completely separate from the Meru climb, * climbs made a decade before Meru are all fully documented for thee talking heads to refer to. The climbs are also a sight to behold.
But this isn't a movie people watch for the technical aspects anyway. This is about the human spirit. This is a film about three men doing everything in their power to overcome the dangers of their craft to achieve their goal. And it's one of the most inspiring documentaries I've ever seen.
★★★★½ review by Jason Alley on Letterboxd
An absolutely stunning documentary about the expedition undertaken by a tight crew of three mountain climbers attempting to reach the top of the notoriously dangerous Mount Meru (while filming the whole thing!), how MERU didn't snag an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary is beyond me. It is thrilling, gripping, emotionally powerful, visually spectacular, and it certainly doesn't wear out its welcome at a swift 90 minutes.
It makes me angry that I saw the lame, forgettable EVEREST on a big screen last year, and not this instead.
★★★★ review by ChevalierFool on Letterboxd
Wow! This is everything I wished Everest would be.
I've never climbed a mountain but Jimmy Chin is one of my absolute heroes. He's a great artist and a great climber and I couldn't miss this movie. It's such a gorgeous yet crazy adventure, the tale of something that has marked climbing's history. If you have the opportunity, don't miss it!
★★★½ review by wintermute47 on Letterboxd
I liked the way the filmmakers found an emotional heart a bit deeper than "hey guys, let's climb this mountain!" By linking the quest to finish the climb with the seeking of some kind of emotional reckoning with individual trauma, I found myself a lot more invested. A few quibbles:
1) The film makes it sound like this mountain had never been climbed before; it had. The particular route they used was novel, and insanely difficult, so this seems like a pointless misrepresentation.
2) Some of the visuals are badly overproduced. Maybe it's because one of the producers does commercial work, but it cheapens the natural beauty of the mountain a bit when it also has neon spangly stars floating overhead.
3) Some of the soundtrack choices were downright cliche. 'Birth and Death of the Day' by Explosions in the Sky needs to be banned from soundtracks.
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