Heart-arresting, thrillingly beautiful, positively poignant documentary focusing on three men’s obsession with the ultimate peak, “shark’s fin” Meru Mountain; a spiritual, 21,000 foot behemoth in Gharwal, Himalaya, India. Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, disparate personalities linked by their super-human skills in scaling the most inflexible, hostile of mountains; even more amazing is filming their death-defying pilgrimage; “Meru” is an immaculate testimony of man’s determination, obstinacy in besting nature’s severest test; the solitariness, magnitude of mountains, shun human interference.
Blatantly honest, all involved, share their vicissitudes, angst, horrific physical derailments; love of their families, fear of false promises; inextricable lure, aura of the frigid, intransigent, slippery landscape; frostbite, avalanches, imminent death does not deter them.
At times terrifying, watching them lying in their flimsy tent, on the side of the mountain, while tempests rage beyond the flaps, never losing their levity or vision; intrepid climbers with supernatural strength; trusting each other, their survival is entwined.
2010’s “North Face” to this point has been the most mesmerizing film concentrating on a sport few can identify with; but “Meru” leaps beyond the imagination; enslaves one’s attention, admiration, indomitable respect.
FOUR & 1/2 STARS!!!!