Beyond the Edge
There are few achievements in history that are attempted for no other sake than curiosity and adventure. Beyond the Edge recounts the tale of one such expedition: the summit of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. There a few moments in this film that don’t convey the complex feelings of crippling fear, pride and determination felt by all who embarked on this operation.
The original footage and modern reconstruction blend seamlessly together, and form a dimensional picture of the 1953 climb. Metcalfe’s approach to the reconstruction is tentative and seems to succeed in not making assumptions or feigning dramatics; rather he uses this tool to consolidate the themes expressed by those involved. Similarly, the narration of various people related to the climb, including recordings of Hillary himself, gives us not just the facts but the perspectives.
The contrast between the new and old is profoundly effective in emphasising the timelessness of the most important character of the film – the mountain itself. The comparison of 1953 footage to today’s shots is astounding due to the lack of change. The power of nature is a theme integral to this story, and the notion that the mountain is just as feral and pure as it always was highlights the strength of nature over man.
There are two narratives in the film; one being the power of nature, the other the will of man. Both atmospheric and inspiring, this movie not only tells the story of a group of determined men, it also toys with the idea of man’s place on earth. An informative and enjoyable watch.
Beyond the Edge is released nationwide on 23rd May 2014.
Watch the trailer for Beyond the Edge here: