Climber's High [2008]

Posted by :: sixtwentyseven :: | Posted in , | Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010

Climber's High in a way is not your typical disaster film. Instead of focusing the main tragedy, it instead focus on the works of a fictional newspaper agency, North Kanto News, and how the tragedy shaped how the newspaper should present its news. Climber's High is based on the novel by Hideo Yokoyama depicting the human cost, the exploitation of the media and the government blame shifting on the matter. The tragedy itself though, is real as the actual accident happened on August 12 1985, where the plane crashed into the ridge of Mt Takamagahara, on Osutaka Ridge in Gunma Prefecture. Of the 524 passengers and crew, only 4 survived, making the worst single plane accident in the world.

The movie's main protagonist is Kazumasa Yukii (Tsutsumi Shinchi), a reporter with the North Kanto News but has a rebellious streak. He was supposed to go for a climb with his good pal Anzai when the accident happened. However, he stood Anzai up because the chief decided to appoint Yukii as the head for the crash reporting. However, as Yukii tries to impose his own style of reporting, he met with resistance from the upper management as office politics, external political pressure and rivalry between newspapers heats up in the math of the tragedy.

This show was last shown in cinemas a year back in my country but I've only managed to catch it recently. One principal reason of watching is that you seldom get this type of genre of shows on local screens ie. talking more about the journalistic side of it rather than the accident proper. Another reason to catch the show is that Tsutsumi Shinchi is an excellent actor who acting credentials inlcude Suspect X of the Galileo series as well as Japanese dramas such as "Good Luck!".

Overall, the movie is pretty good and well paced. However, people who watched the show may be a bit confused as it talks about his private life in present and the flashback to the main story. While the movie is trying to tell the audience that what happened during that period has caused a change in his view of life, the movie didn't exactly explain much on that. Nonetheless, the best scenes are no doubt in the newsroom where all the action is happening: the arrangements, the feelings after viewing the accident scene, the stories that each reporter is trying to tell.

After all, reporters are human.