Seven Years in Tibet Reviews
Saw this on 9/12/15
This film is like Dances with Wolves, it's got all the potential to be an explosively pompous epic, it could have easily been another Schindler's list, all it had to do was to show repeated scenes of violent Chinese torture on Tibetans. But the film limits all that to the bare minimum and lets the film have a Tibetan ideology, a buddhist one where it purposefully abandons all form of such scenes that make it haunting towards the end. But does it satisfy completely, well the answer is no as I simply had a similar feeling after Dances with wolves. Pitt plays a compelling character and performs effectively, but his accent is sometimes irritating. David Thewlis also gives one of his better performances. However, some things about the film are too American in the way in which it simply ignores Harrer's Nazi roots, he supported Germany when he left for the mountains and he never said that he is an Austrian not a German to any soldiers (as shown in the film) nor does he ever show any reluctance in accepting Nazi flag before leaving because these incidents are described as I just said in his memoirs. The imagery and cinematography are fantastic.
Guess which one this one is.
Most of the shooting took place in Argentina, in the city of La Plata (the train station where Heinrich leaves for Unserberg is the Main Train Station of La Plata, for example), and in the Mendoza Province, in such places as the Andes chain of mountains. Some time after the film's release, director Annaud confirmed that two crews secretly shot footage for the film in Tibet, amounting to approximately 20 minutes of footage in the final film. Other footage was shot in Nepal, Austria, and Canada.
Seven Years in Tibet premiered on September 13, 1997 at the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival before a commercial release on October 8, 1997 in the United States and Canada, distributed to 2,103 theaters for its domestic opening weekend. After its run, the film grossed $37,957,682 domestically and $93,500,000 overseas with an overall box office gross of $131,457,682.
Based on 33 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 61% approval rating from critics, with an average score of 6.3/10. Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating in the 0-100 range based on reviews from top mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 55, based on 18 reviews.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times acclaimed the film in general, stating that "Seven Years in Tibet is an ambitious and beautiful movie with much to interest the patient viewer, but it makes the common mistake of many films about travelers and explorers: It is more concerned with their adventures than with what they discover. Additionally, Ebert believed the film was told from the perspective of the wrong character and thought the casting of Pitt and Thewlis should have been reversed. Derek Elley of Variety praised the film's overall production value but thought: "for a story with all the potential of a sweeping emotional drama set in great locations, too often you just long for the pic to cut loose from the ethnography and correct attitudes and go with the drama in old Hollywood style."
As the film was being released, it was condemned by the government of the People's Republic of China, which stated that Communist Chinese military officers were intentionally shown as rude and arrogant, brutalizing the local people. The Chinese government also decried the film's positive portrayal of the 14th Dalai Lama. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud and stars Brad Pitt and David Thewlis were banned from ever entering China. Annaud has since been welcomed back to China with open arms in 2012 to chair the jury of the 15th annual Shanghai International Film Festival. Also in dispute is the use of the terms "Chinese Embassy in Tibet" and "occupation of Tibet", in view of the Tibetan sovereignty debate.
man this is such a great movie 2 watch, its got a fantastic cast throughout this movie......I think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch, I think that brad pitt was absolutely brilliant throughout this movie.....I think that this is such a really powerful drama movie 2 watch, it is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch, it is such a brilliant movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie......
Possibly has the slowest start to any movie I have seen, and I wonder how true this was to the autobiography it comes from! Very odd book to turn into a film.
Also Pitt's accent is truly terrible..... his "Shaaaaat aaaaahp" is reminiscent of a Schwarzenegger parody and you have to wonder if that is the only research into Austrian accents.