“Infinite Storm”: Even in the storm you will find beauty [RECENZJA]

  • At the Mastercard OFF Camera Festival, which began on April 29, was the premiere of Małgorzata Szumowska’s “Infinite Storm” with cinematography by Michał Englert.
  • The photo tells the true story of Pam Bales, as described in a widely commented Reader’s Digest article three years ago.
  • A nurse and mountain guide went on a solo climbing trip to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Unexpectedly, I went to help a random guy
  • Szumowska only uses the convention of excitement to tell us about universal things – about loss, regret, perseverance, and the meaning of life.
  • We are dealing with an outstanding performance by Naomi Watts. With a good promotion, he could even be nominated for an Academy Award. Although the movie itself is not without its flaws
  • You can find more such articles on Onet homepage

Małgorzata Szumowska and Naomi Watts had the chance to get to know each other better in 2018, when they were members of the jury at the Venice Festival. Perhaps that was where the idea of ​​collaboration was born. Polka directly admits that Watts is one of the best contemporary actresses for her.

No one could handle a role like “Infinite Storm” – the film was shot in the mountains, in difficult conditions, on a relatively low budget, and the main character hardly says anything during most of the show. All the intense and extreme emotions appear in her eyes, her facial expressions, her way of breathing… She is not a superhero, but a woman of imperfect flesh and blood who makes up for her flaws with inner strength and composure.

We are dealing with outstanding performance. With a good promotion, he could even be nominated for an Academy Award. Who knows, it might not be impossible at all. Blicker Street Distribution has led two reps to receive this award in recent years. Why isn’t Watts next? She has played one of the best roles of her career, and she has to count on the fight for the little bust.

The film tells the true story of Pam Bales, described in a viral and almost viral article called Reader’s Digest three years ago. A middle-aged nurse and mountain guide has climbed solo to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. Although she had the experience and preparedness for bad weather, a blizzard on the rise forced her to retreat. But then she saw traces in the snow – to her horror, she realized that they were ordinary, not specialized, sneakers, intended for trips. She knew that in such conditions her owner had no chance of survival. I decided to find him and bring him safely downstairs. The problem was that a guy in shorts and a thin jacket wouldn’t make it easy for her. Both were in great danger. But Pam did not think to give up – she was risking her life, but had to try to help the guy.

The poster and trailer for “Infinite Storm” advertise a classic survival cinema – a mix of “Wild Road” with Reese Witherspoon with productions like Everest or The Limits of Endurance. However, this is not an entirely good introduction and I fear that some viewers will view the film negatively due to unfulfilled expectations. These types of stories end up at the destination – rescue, escape, etc. But here, it’s not just about getting down the mountain before dark. What seems to be more important is what led both heroes to that meeting and what happened next.

Szumowska only uses the convention of excitement to tell us about universal things – about loss, regret, perseverance, and the meaning of life. Perhaps the ending presents everything too literally, but on the other hand, the scene that culminates the movie is beautiful and inspiring and gives the story a deeper meaning. It turns out that the shocks can also be spoken of in a calm and balanced way, while sitting over a cup of tea, and not so much that emotions flow on the screen in liters. In general, all moments of silence or concentration, which put the audience in a certain state of contemplation, work wonderfully here. Wild nature, especially the mountains, thanks to which we have the opportunity to enter another world and isolate ourselves from nature, has tremendous power. As Pam says in one scene, “It’s like a cure. The mountains are always listening in silence.”

And the Polish director did not hide in the interviews promoting the film that such calm scenes are her favorites, while the shooting of dynamic scenes did not go well. It appears on the screen. Aside from one unconvincing moment when Bales falls into a deep hole, the whole thing seems believable, I’d say it gets cold just by watching it. Thanks to the re-release, highly atmospheric images by Michał Englert, it is enough to watch this film to be transported into such a different reality – instead of climbing, there will be a journey within oneself.

But the narration of the “mountain” part, the way terror is introduced, doesn’t work well anymore. Successful ingredients are mixed without skill. The pace is slowing in places, and there is a little tension. Of course, “Infinite Storm” is not a typical representative of the genre, this movie is actually divided into three separate parts and only one of them is a game of survival. However, it is the middle and longest part of all. The upshot is that despite the show only lasting an hour and a half, some viewers might get bored.

I was not impressed by Szumowska’s first English-language film “Daughter of God” (to put it mildly). Regardless of the climate, I didn’t find anything particularly interesting about it. I rate “Infinite Storm” much higher.

There’s unnecessary downtime here, the story might be more engaging, but it’s still very good cinema. Within three weeks, under extremely difficult conditions, a breathtaking film was shot. At the same time it gives a sense of catharsis. I hope Małgośka will have more opportunities to work with the best people in the industry and be more popular in the world. She deserves it and “Infinite Storm” is further proof of that. This title moves, changes perspective, and makes you want to take a deep breath and… just live, no matter the adversity. After all, even in a storm you can find beauty.

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