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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Adventure on the Roof of the World
As so often, the film simplifies and slightly alters the story as told in the book of the same name and written by Heinrich Harrer; Brad Pitt plays the role excellently, by the way.

Harrer, a rather egoistic young Alpinist from Austria, is in the Himalayas when Britain declares war in 1939. He is interned in British-ruled India as an enemy alien (NB: NOT for...
Published on 8 April 2005 by Ian Millard

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but no English subtitles
Disappointed that we didn't get English subtitles. For older folks a bit hard of hearing we need English subtitles.
why is one more word required.....stupid requirement! There I gave you more than one word...hehehehe
Published 14 months ago by bnpbaku


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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Adventure on the Roof of the World, 8 April 2005
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As so often, the film simplifies and slightly alters the story as told in the book of the same name and written by Heinrich Harrer; Brad Pitt plays the role excellently, by the way.

Harrer, a rather egoistic young Alpinist from Austria, is in the Himalayas when Britain declares war in 1939. He is interned in British-ruled India as an enemy alien (NB: NOT for any other reason). After several failed attempts at escape in the succeeding two years, he gets away, eventually linking up with a fellow Austrian climber. In order to avoid recapture, they trek high into the mountains and head for Tibet, then closed to all foreigners. By bending and breaking the rules, they get into Lhasa, the Holy City and are tolerated. Indeed, a young educated "civil servant" assists them and continues to do so after he is promoted to high ministerial rank. Harrer builds roads and becomes tutor to the young Dalai Lama, who lives in the Potala Palace high above the city. Harrer's friend marries a local lady; Harrer himself changes to a less egoistic person over time.

After WW2 grinds to its dreadful end, Harrer stays on until the Chinese invasion of 1949. He then returns to Austria, to find that his son (born after he left Austria) has almost grown up. The films ends with Harrer, back in the Austrian Alps, reconciled with his son and his climbing and escaping friend.

This film is largely true to the book. It was badly mauled on release in 1997 because the newspaper critics wanted the standard Spielberg-style Hollywood anti-Nazi propaganda message spelt out; this film is not a propagandistic film, thank God. The blanket condemnation of the critics really showed that there is a kind of "claque" at work in the UK and USA. In fact, Brad Pitt is stellar here, his performance just right. The film is heartwarming and never boring, which shows that Hollywood can do it, when allowed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brad Pitt, Remus Lupin and the nicest boy in the world, 17 Nov 2012
By 
Nat Whilk (Lincolnshire, UK) - See all my reviews
Based on the late Heinrich Harrer's famous memoir, this 136-minute epic tells the tale of an arrogant Austrian climber (Brad Pitt) and his 1939 expedition to the Himalayas. The turmoil that comes with the onset of war leads him and his companion (the great David Thewlis, Remus Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Ultimate Edition) - Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)[Region Free]) to the mysterious realm of Tibet, where the young Dalai Lama in his hilltop palace is preparing for his rule and ministry. The unlikeliest of friendships grows up between the egocentric mountaineer and the gentle, humorous philosopher-prince, while all around them sinister forces are gathering...

This is, quite simply, a superb piece of cinema. Brad Pitt, David Thewlis and the many Tibetan actors all play their parts wonderfully. The story is by turns comical, cliffhanger-thrilling and deeply moving; the austere mountain scenery is sublime; the music - composed by the ever reliable John Williams and featuring the virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma - is gorgeous, not least for its sonorous Tibetan chant. And we imbibe a good deal of fascinating history and - if we're minded to receive it - no little wisdom too. This is one film that's equally rewarding to eye, ear, mind, heart and soul.

The beauty of the film's cinematography and soundtrack practically oblige one to prefer the Blu-ray over the DVD if one is lucky enough to be able to afford it. As far as I know, no UK Blu-ray is available, but happily the American disc - featuring 1080p video and uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio - is region-free. One word of warning: imports from the US that cost more than 15 (including shipping) attract not just 20% VAT but also a swingeing 8 Royal Mail administration fee, so try not to cross that threshold if you can possibly help it!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Inspirational, 7 Dec 2002
This review is from: Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
This is the sort of film that it becomes easy to criticise as its topic and setting is so vast. It is also one which people seem to be either utterly compelled by, or are sent off to sleep within the first half hour; this is doubtless due to the low-impact nature of the first half of the film. However, Seven Years in Tibet is aesthetically breathtaking and inherently inciteful. While Brad Pitt's Austrian accent leaves a little to be desired, the characters are portrayed excellently and the gradual reversal of Harrer's character is intricately woven into the wider upheavals of the Tibetan culture and the war continuing in the world outside. I found myself watching in real sadness as the Chinese gradually overpower the peace-loving tibetans, and by the end feeling as though I had a real understanding of the pain suffered by the Tibetan people, despite entering into the film with no prior knowledge whatsoever.
Obviously there is only a certain amount that can be covered in just over 2 hours, perhaps leaving some viewers feeling that the film is too much based on Harrer than the Tibetan way of life, but after all, this is the story of an individual's journey, it is not a documentary. Jean-Jaques Annaud's direction is imperious, as is the score, the production and the leading performances; given this framework the film could hardly fail to be brilliant, and I found it to be one of the most entralling and inspiring films that I have ever seen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, great product :), 5 Nov 2013
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Wanted this for ages on a disc format, so decided on Bluray .. glad I did, as it definitely does add to the quality .. one hting to note is that there's a very minimal 'shaking movement' to the picture, but is only noticeable when inspecting very closely, and it actually probably something to do with the original film. I stopped noticing it anyhow as I got into the film, which is a good thing, as I notice way too much stuff in general that can eventually spoil my enjoyment of things!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fantastic film, 4 Nov 2009
By 
Mrs. M. Singh Ghataura (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
this film is the true story of the friendship which grew between a selfish climber who cared about nobody but himself, who had been everywhere and done everything, and the Dali Lama when he was a boy and was isolated and insulated from the real world. They meet when the climber and his friend go to Tibet and the Dali Lama wanted to learn about everyday things and people and the modern way of life. The climber tells him and shows him a world which is amazing to the young boy and they keep this friendship until the Chinese invade Tibet and the Dali Lama has to flee to India where he is to this day. The friendship survived the invasion and into the Dali Lama's adulthood. A very moving story of the opression of the Tibetan people by the Chinese but of the hope and optimism of the Dali Lama. Very entertaining and amusing in parts and moving in others. A must see for anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "At the end of the world his real journey began.", 17 April 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Heinrich Harrer (Brad Pit) has a son before he is ready. Rather than cope with the situation he runs off to India to do a little mountain climbing because "When you're climbing your mind is clear and free from all confusions. You have focus. And suddenly the light becomes sharper, the sounds are richer and you're filled with the deep, powerful presence of life." War breaks out between Briton and Germany so now Henry becomes a prisoner there he gets divorced. He escapes and through trials and tribulations ends up in Tibet there his son writes to tells Henry not to bother.
The story is not of a physical journey. But as greater epics it is a journey of the soul. Henry must learn to deal with people including his friend Peter (David Thewlis.) With time to reflect and even a job with the Dalai Lama, he comes to understand himself, the world of people, and with any luck what it means to be a father.
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Everything about this movie cries out for (Superbit Collection). With filming locations in British Columbia, Argentina, Austria, Chile, and Tibet, we have some spectacular panoramas.
There is lots of great music including some original by John Williams.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sept ans en Tibet, 3 Jan 2014
By 
T. W. "t" (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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I made a mistake by buying a French-titled version but, by some judicious use of the audio button on my remote control, managed to achieve an English soundtrack.
It was good even if it rather skipped over the difficulties of staying in Tibet that so feature in the book. It was strange how everyone changed from speaking Tibetan and suddenly started speaking quite good English - even the belligerent Chinese! It was good and was worth the money just for the credits which must have run to hundreds and hundreds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good film, the shock was in the end titles, 19 Nov 2011
This review is from: Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
Let's deal with Brad Pitt first. Why put on a fake German accent. Germans speak German naturally, so if we're pretending to be German and speaking English while suspending disbelieve that we're actually speaking German, why keep reminding us with the daft German accent, just speak naturally.

OK, now that's off my chest, back to ze feelm

What a great film. Full of beauty, charm and style. It was interesting to note it was "filmed in the Himalayas" and not "filmed in Tibet". Excuse my ignorance, is that because it wasn't actually filmed in Tibet, or because they didn't want to upset the Chinese.

And lets deal with the Chinese now. has anyone heard a more ugly sound in their lives than the squwaking tannoy female big sister in this film, so rudely stamping her boot over the Tibetan culture ?

The biggest shock in this film was in the end titles. A million Tibetans died as a result of the Chinese occupation. A MILLION !!!! I didn't even know there were as many as a million Tibetans !

Frankly this is totally shocking and I am now officially ashamed that we even deal with China at all until this ungodly mess is sorted out (the Dali Lama is still in exile).

What a great thought provoking film, I'm off to watch Kundun now...

Meanwhile, here's the man himself...

[...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oscar in retrospect, 13 Nov 2009
By 
This review is from: Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997] (DVD)
This film I watch again and again and I believe it should have had Oscars and Baftas for Lead actor, best supporting actor and screen play, music etc. There is not a bad performance throughout and the shooting is stunning. It seems to have been one of those stupendous films that slipped through the net of awards, at least to my knowledge.I think it is one of Brad Pitt's most genuine performances.It is both entertaining, full of pathos and is an excellent interpretation of the true story that Heinrich Harrer describes in his book of the same title.An inspiring story that shows the journey of suffering that one man makes through his egoic struggles into something more spiritually enlightening and is offset by the stupendous backdrop of some of the most stunning scenery in the world, that of the Himalayas.It is still a very thrusting film and brings home the ravages of the Chinese and how the take over of Tibet began. Lest we forget!!!!!!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something in it for everyone, 22 Nov 2000
By A Customer
A very powerful and moving true story based on the book by Heinrich Harrer. He escapes from a P.O.W. camp, treks to Tibet, tutors the Dalai Lama in the beautiful city of Lhasa and then faces war with China.It also follows Harrer's personal life with his wife and son. The film has something in it for everyone and I highly recommend it as you will feel part of the film. It contains mild swearing and violence.
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Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997]
Seven Years In Tibet [DVD] [1997] by Jean-Jacques Annaud (DVD - 1999)
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