The 1st half is most successful, deftly and artfully weaving layers of backstory into the climbers' initial ascent. With a combination of styles and textures, Meru introduces us to the men and mountain, and if the near-cosmic link between the two isn't particularly convincing, the dynamic among the three climbers is. Ultimately, this becomes a film about mentorship and inner fortitude.
Meru is a 6600km steep mountainside in north India that looks like a shark fin. This shark fin is hunting climbers and after many lost lives and failed attempts, three climbers go for the third time to take another bite at this great white. Meru is a documentary of huge scale - both in ambition and scope; The relationships, the doubts, the physical and mental perseverance are all packed in their luggage up hill.
Saw this a few days ago at VIFF. While I'm not a fan of outdoor sports documentaries in general, this one transcends the genre to a certain extent and becomes something a little more fascinating, blending the highs and lows of extreme alpinism with dreams, ambitions, hardships, and life in general.
Now here is the authentic climbing experience film. Three men decide to become the first to conquer the peak at Meru and first suffer failure. After near fatal injuries for 2 partners elsewhere the three tempt fate to try again 3 years later. Incredibly well told one often forgets their actually watching a documentary. One of the years finest docs.