Seven Years In Tibet, movie review, film review, entertainment

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"Seven Years In Tibet"

"Seven Years In Tibet" created a political uproar, which may or may not be more than a tempest in a teapot. Heinrich Harrer's life seems to be the perfect movie script, a confessed Nazi, an egotist who leaves a pregnant wife to seek adventure, mountain climbing in the Himalayas, an Aryan who is the perfect foil for the Nazi party and a teacher for the Dalai Lama. All these aspects and many more, like the Chinese claiming Tibet for their own.

Throw in the cinematic, charismatic Brad Pitt as your lead and why shouldn't you believe you have all the makings of a great movie. Beautiful Brad, bare-chested Brad, the savior Brad, well the fans that have made him the powerful box-office draw won't be disappointed.

What about the public that wants more, with so much story line to work from, why do we get a travelogue and not even of the real Tibet, the Andes in South America substituting brilliantly for the real things with vistas and panoramic incredibility to fulfill the senses. David Thewlis, as a fellow mountain climber and prisoner adds to a prison escape from India, which lands them in Dalai Lama's territory, played exquisitely by the fourteen year old Jamyang Wangchuk, not to become a household word in the near future. Painstakingly and laboriously are the Seven Years in Tibet that the audience has to endure to get to the Chinese finish line. Jean-Jacques Annaud, the director, best known for his, The Bear, Quest for Fire and his beautifully exotic, "The Lover" is a bit over indulgent with his pseudo Tibet.

The photography by Robert Fraisse, leaves you rarified, the air gets awfully thin. At least in "The Matchmaker", you had the enjoyment of Ireland as well as the laughs. Brad Pitt is currently featured on the cover of Time magazine and the 85 year old Heinrich Herrer is quoted on his life in the '30s in Germany, "I was an ideal case for the Nazis, I was blond, young and successful. I was a great skier. I had climbed the Eiger north face. They wanted to have me, and they exploited me. I didn't mind becoming a member, I admit this. I made ideological errors. So did Neville Chamberlain. I wasn't farsighted or a magician to know what would happened later". Alas poor Yorick! I mean Alas poor Neville, I knew him well. Shall we bury the skull now?

Seven Years In Tibet
Tri Star
Produced by: Jean-Jacques Annaud, John H. Williams, Iain Smith
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
With: Brad Pitt, David Thewlis, B.D. Wong Mako, Jamyang Jamtsho Wangchuk, Lhakpa Tsamchoe, Jetsun Pema
Director of Photography: Robert Fraisse
Screenplay by: Becky Johnston
Rated: PG-13
Based on the book by: Heinrich Harrer

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Original Date Friday 10 October 1997
Updated Sunday 12 October 1997