Mateo (Javier Rey) is a man who is filled with determination. Extremely fit, he’s been training and preparing each day with hopes of one day achieving a big dream- climbing Annapurna. When the time comes, Mateo packs his things and says his farewell to his parents, who are deeply concerned for his well-being while climbing. We then jump to Mateo waking up in his tent on the mountain of Narchyang, Nepal, at an altitude of 3142 metres. It’s evident that while Mateo has yet to reach his goal, he is most certainly enjoying every moment of his journey so far.
But while his climb began with success, it’s not long until Mateo finds himself in a world of danger and faced with new challenges. An unexpected storm hits while climbing, and Mateo soon has a tragic fall. Thankfully, he’s not the only one on the mountain. A female climber named Ione (Patricia Lopez Arnaiz) lives in a nearby cabin, preferring to keep to herself. While travelling around the mountain, she soon finds Mateo badly wounded from his fall. Thankfully he is still alive, and Ione manages to rescue and shelter him. As Mateo recovers, he is determined to complete his climb, something Ione disagrees with, given his current condition. Will Mateo finish the climb and survive, or will he turn back home with an unfinished goal?
Beyond the Summit (also titled La Cima) is best described as a touching drama that moves at a slow pace. It’s a drama that focuses on the challenges humans face when overcoming past hurt and moving forward with their life. The visuals are strong and stunning, especially whenever our leads attempt to climb a mountain. While there’s very little of it, the musical score is fitting and highly touching whenever it appears.
Our leading characters are great to watch. While their desires for their lives differ quite drastically, and they both have different views and values, they are quite encouraging and helpful to one another. The performances from our leads are great, and there are multiple touching moments even when they make unwise choices relating to the mountain climb.
While I enjoyed multiple aspects of this film, I can’t deny that there are a few moments that were a little disappointing to witness. Firstly, the story is predictable with its outcomes and the cliché obstacles/challenges that are presented for our leading characters. For most of the runtime, tension and general suspense is lacking. The best moments generally relate to scenes on the mountain or during heartfelt interactions between our two leads. Apart from this, some moments feel slower than I would have preferred. Some character choices may also be hard for viewers to accept, given their motivation.
Overall, there’s a touching story on display, and I enjoyed the positive messages, which are a true strength. The film is visually pleasing, and while it’s brief, its score is also touching. Performances are great, but I can’t deny some scenes overstay their welcome or carry highly predictable outcomes. Seeking a slow-burning drama film? This is certainly worth grabbing a glass of wine and taking a peek. Beyond the Summit (2022) is Now Available at the Spanish Film Festival – 2022. For more information or session times, check out the link here: https://www.spanishfilmfestival.com/