... a book that is loosely based on a story from a man that had a casual relationship with the truth. Even if it were true I still would have a hard time believing 4 men survived what must have been a walk of some 4000 miles through blizzards, starvation, sandstorms, dehydration, impenetrable forests, 15000 foot elevation mountain ranges, clouds of insects and knee deep swamps after having suffered the deprivations of a Soviet gulag. They would have started that journey, in a Siberian blizzard, in poor health, few clothes and what food they might squirrel away from their already meager rations.
While I was reminded of Henley's Invictus in trying to get into the mindset of the ones doing the trudging and slogging, some things are simply impossible for a human. The journey that inspired this film was just not possible. A regular competitor in triathlons could not do this. A group of professional marathoners couldn't do this. So, I had a problem with the veracity of the premise from the outset, and when I saw what they had to do to survive, I was certain the whole claim was a sham. That took a lot of the authenticity out of the characters and scenarios for me. But, it was still a good movie, a very good movie.
This film is beautifully done. The makeup was nominated for an Oscar. The cinematography should have been, but then what would I expect from a film produced in part by NatGeo ? I should have gone to see it at the cinema. The acting is first class. Ed Harris really filled the part of Mr Smith, the others were just as good in their characters, but Harris stood out. The sound was impressive, even and rich throughout, and the lighting was superb. I did not see one double shadow.
This movie is more than watchable, if you have a spare 2 hours, but keep the water glass handy. I have never been made thirsty by a film, but I got up for water twice in the second half.