“Awesome, just awesome,” said William Tentrum, 14.
Tentrum was referring to the Tibetan landscape captured in “Seven Years in Tibet”–a jagged expanse of wind-whipped, snowy peaks and valleys.
“It would be cool to go there,” William said, adding that his father and brothers are avid mountain hikers. “They’d love this movie, I’m sure.”
William’s friend Katie Sparks, 14, agreed that “Seven Years in Tibet” is easy on the eyes. It helped that a young Brad Pitt figures in almost every scene. Katie, who recently watched the DVD with parents and their kids, was impressed by Pitt.
“He is so cute,” she gushed, but pointed out that Pitt doesn’t dominate the film. Visions of Tibet, from the country to its people, moved her the most.
“It was good [because] it told a good story [and] made you feel you were” in Tibet, Katie said.
Edie Ratliff, 11, enjoyed the way Pitt’s character transforms from selfish dude to almost a Buddha of compassion and calm. His relationship with a preteen Dalai Lama moved her, mainly because it showed how good people can be.
“Everybody should be nicer,” Edie decided.
William said he enjoyed “Seven Years in Tibet” for its combination of outdoor scenery and action. The earliest scenes, he said, were especially affecting as Pitt and others try to reach the summit of a hazardous Himalayan peak.
One member of the team almost dies but is pulled to safety by Pitt. An avalanche also was dynamic, William said.
“Intense stuff. . . . It made me nervous when the guy nearly fell,” he said.
The youngsters shared the same criticism, that the movie stalls after Pitt reaches Tibet’s holy city.
“I liked what happened to [Pitt], but that part went on a little too long,” Katie said.
Parents’ Perspective: This movie is generally harmless, despite the drama of the early climbing scenes. There is brief violence when the Chinese invade Tibet, but kids older than 10 should be able to handle it.
Most parents agreed, adding that the message offset any qualms they had about the violence.
“They could have [soft-pedaled] the war [scenes] even more than they did, but it wasn’t that bad,” Cynthia Tipton said. “I liked what the movie had to say.”
Curtis Taylor wished the film went even further in presenting Tibetan philosophy. “I liked the message, but it could have been even more forceful.”
Director’s cue: Movie lovers, you may also want to take a look at Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane and Casablanca. For more articles about DVDs and movies for Children and the Family, please visit Nick Smithville.