By Sadira Sittampalam
There is something to be said about those who commit themselves to follow their ambitions. Despite all adversity, obstacles and misfortune, these people are able to navigate through. The Summit of the Gods is a 2021 animated film that follows the journey of two men and their ambitions, seeking to explore this through the lens of a truth-seeking photojournalist and an esteemed climber who went missing. This movie has a lot of ideas that are conveyed rather poetically with its story and themes, all the while offering some of the most gorgeous animated views of both the hustle and bustle of the city and the serene power of our largest mountains. While this isn’t the flashiest movie, it is a meditative and captivating watch.
This film was great at delivering atmosphere. It is so easy to forget that you are not watching real people as you are brought in so effortlessly to this world that the film has created. The sound design was a big portion of this, as it was seamlessly able to deliver different soundscapes throughout the movie. This synched up perfectly with the soundtrack and ended up giving you these twangs of emotion and intensity that really resonated with you. This technique was also used perfectly to develop tension and suspense in scenes, making you feel every step someone takes, every rock that falls out of place, and every time the wind suddenly picks up speed.
The visuals were also these naturalistic renditions of cities and mountainous regions that were almost delectable to view. It evoked a certain type of appreciation every time you see a new setting, as each scene was indeed a work of art. While the characters themselves were nowhere near as detailed, their simple yet expressive faces still felt entirely authentic. In the distance, these characters became part of their detailed surroundings, giving you this unparalleled sense of awe for both the scale of the world as well as the feats that these characters are trying to achieve.
When I started watching, I wasn’t immediately drawn into the movie. I was intrigued mainly by the art style and how beautiful the backgrounds looked, but the exposition felt a little dragged. So while it was necessary to watch in the grander scheme of things, the introduction didn’t grab my attention all too much. However, when I finally got to the more fleshy parts of the movie, the narrative really got spiced up. It started dealing with various moral dilemmas where we get to see these characters in what should be defining moments of their lives. While this portion was really captivating, the movie still maintained a steady pace, with no real rush to get to the point, taking its time to enjoy the journey. This assured rhythm made you trust that it knew where it was going and you are lulled into this contemplative and rather introspective mood, making you ask a lot of questions about how you choose to live your life.
This movie is comprised of a single motivation. It doesn’t attempt to venture to places that it doesn’t need to go; there was no unnecessary humour, no unwanted love interests. It has a story and it does everything in its power to tell it to the best of its ability. This focus allowed you to entirely invest in the narrative and its ideas and allowed the movie’s atmosphere and tone to stay consistent throughout. There was no room for abused plotlines or tropes in this film.
Overall, this film was a powerful experience that showcased the raw beauty and power of animation while delivering a story that gives you so much to ponder both during and after. However, this movie was much understated in its delivery. It has a quiet power to it that comes from its clear vision, but the fact that it does not attempt to be