Free Solo | M | Documentary
The strength of this documentary ultimately lies in the astounding feat of human ability and endurance. Honnold is a likable person who has pushed himself to the very limits of physical and personal achievement and it’s these aspects that hold the film together. However, the filmmakers seemed to focus on some of the wrong points for me personally; I wanted to see more of Honnold’s performance, abilities and process and less of the attempts to question or humanise the rationale behind it. All in all though it’s certainly worth the watch, if just for the beautiful scenery and glimpse into the unbelievable world of free solo climbing.
Provides an interesting insight into the world of free solo climbing, with which I was totally unfamiliar beforehand. In that respect, this was an enjoyable look into one of the world’s most dangerous hobbies, framed around the eccentric but likable character of free soloer Alex Honnold. Certainly an interesting character study, however, the act of free solo climbing felt a bit glossed over, including the major climb at the end. I felt similarly about the philosophical and contemplative questions raised by the subject matter. The filmmakers didn’t seem interested in interrogating these ideas on a large scale, instead focusing on the ethics of filming the climb, as well as the emotional roller-coaster for Honnold’s girlfriend. While not a perfect documentary, I’d still recommend Free Solo for a fascinating glance into a totally irrational yet captivating activity.
The achievement in the documentary is unfathomable. It was inspiring to see a human being push beyond their limits and accomplish something that seems impossible. However, I felt I had to evoke that emotion on my own. As a standard millennial film-watcher, I prefer when the filmmakers create the magic. Perhaps the filmmakers purposely made a very neutral documentary, I would have enjoyed if they built the suspense and celebrated the achievement a little more. Some parts felt disjointed, but for me, this was overshadowed by the feat of the climb itself.
I liked the way this movie inspires your basic instincts to achieve something out of your league. Only thing I disliked is unnecessary romance drama, rather they would have spent 90 minutes on even the minute details of ‘how he did it’.
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