Customer Review

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Palin's Peak Practices, 30 Jun 2005
This review is from: Michael Palin - Himalaya [DVD] (DVD)
If you've been following Michael Palin's Himalayan excursions on the television, then you'll know almost exactly what you're getting here. If you haven't, but have been a spectator to some of Palin's other epic voyages, you may find that his approach to the Himalayas is a little less frenetic than, say his round the world trips. Given the dominance of the mountain range and the lack of oxygen, a slightly more laid back approach is understandable.
Michael Palin does what he always does - he acts like a thoroughly decent human being, good humoured, good natured, absorbed by the people and country around him. In an era where holidaying has become an excuse for booze, sex, and coarse behaviour, regimented by airlines, tour operators, and the lure of grotesque theme parks, Palin again demonstrates that travel and adventure can be a gentlemanly, gentle act. He conveys a polite humanity and sense of wonder, proving that you can travel the world without glossy brochures. For most people, simply being there might be excitement enough, but Palin finds mini adventuresa plenty ... with local herdsmen, school kids, or simply sitting on a train.
The landscape dominates the whole trip. It is the ultimate landscape, the roof of the world, but it's a landscape wounded by conflict. Palin counterbalances the warfare by interviewing the Dali Lama. He doesn't take sides, he doesn't judge, but you get a sense of his exasperation - surely peace is easier that war?
Palin clowns, he observes, he listens, he describes. The camera work picks out the visual wonders of the land. It's the sort of production which makes your mouth water and your feet start to itch, the sort of production which has you pouring over maps and deciding you won't be going to Belgium for your holidays this year.
Beautifully shot and produced, Palin his usual charming self - this is a delight from start to finish. It's stimulating, it's entertaining, and it's excellent value with three discs giving you the television series plus some entertaining extras.
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