Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

(On Cable TV, July 2015) It seems amazing that an adventure film spanning several years, multiple countries, splendid mountain vistas and political upheavals would turn out to be so… boring.  A noticeably younger-looking Brad Pitt stars as a mountain adventurer stuck in Nepal during and after World War Two, eventually becoming an advisor to a young Dalai Llama.  Given the Himalayan setting, the scenery is spectacular, with a few mountaineering sequences to making this slightly less dull.  The problems with Seven Years in Tibet are common to a surprising number of adventure movies: It just feels interminable.  While doesn’t fall into the trap of loosely-structured episodes (even resorting to an artificial father-son bit of drama not found in the original book to provide increasing tension), this is a seriously long film that doesn’t go anywhere for a long while.  To the film’s credit, director Jean-Jacques Annaud does present a sympathetic representation of Nepal at a crucial time, and Lhakpa Tsamchoe is a rare example of a Tibetan actress being featured in a big movie.  In-between Pitt and the mountain scenery, Seven Years in Tibet does have a few things going for it.  But it could and should have been just a bit more interesting considering its subject matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *