Free Solo – Film Review

Free Solo – Film Review

This year has been a great one for Documentaries. This one in particular tells the 2 year long journey of Alex Honnold in his attempt to Free Solo El Captain in Yosemite National Park. There was a lot I took away from watching this documentary. This film showcases the human resilience to push forward and to work hard at a goal to achieve it. This film there is a lot of questions behind if it was ethical to make it since he was risking his life to be documented while climbing something that is extremely dangerous to perform.

They do wrap it up in a quick statement that he is basically trying to go for that gold medal while doing everything perfectly and if he fails to get the gold he dies. The cinematography of the doc was a real strength to this feature. There were many drones used and other cameras provided by Google Maps that added to the storytelling of the film. I appreciated a lot of the work that went into shooting the actual climb he completes in 2017. The film goes into the reasons why he loves to climb and what brought on the need to climb El Cap. What I take away from this doc is that if you set your mind to a goal, focus, and compartmentalize your life you’re able to move yourself forward into achieving that goal.

I think it’s the best thing in life to be able to take the one thing you love the most and have it, like, work out that you can make a living that way.

I was lucky enough to see the film in IMAX which I feel is the best format to see this in its full capacity. This had me on the edge of my seat and I do not like heights. I knew he was going to survive but it was hard to watch at times since you’re afraid for his safety. I had to say the view that he had of the skyline was quite beautiful. A lot of great nature shots and juxtaposition of where he was on the mountain to make it easy to follow his path onto the way to the top.

The family life and personal relationship was a solid background to the whole film. Though he doesn’t focus too much on his personal life and is learning how to be more “emotional” to know how to be a better person, I did appreciate what they did to show why he is so emotionless. There was a scene in the beginning where he went to a doctor to see if he has lost the ability to fear much, but it ended up showing that he has just endured a lot to not be as fearful or more in-control of those emotions.

I would definitely recommend this film to anyone. It is a great example of the human spirit in a positive light and we need more of that in the world today.


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