The fascination of the high mountains leads an engineer to abandon an uninspiring job and take refuge in the Alps to recharge his batteries.

While demonstrating an industrial robot at a business meeting in Chamonix, Pierre lets his gaze drift to the snow-capped peaks that soar beyond the windows. After the meeting, he decides to stay a few days there to learn the basics of mountaineering, then takes the Aiguille du Midi cable car to pitch his tent directly on a glacier.

The call of the mountain is so strong that Pierre refuses to go back down to the valley.

This is when The Mountain, a film by French director Thomas Salvador, subtly changes its tone. It goes from a simple existential crisis firmly rooted in reality to a fantastic story. Strange lights appear and lead Pierre to the very heart of the mountain.

This break in tone requires a certain adjustment from the viewer. If he accepts this proposal, if he appreciates a slow and meditative rhythm, he can participate in a fascinating inner journey.

The mountain is a film of few words. Pierre, played by the director himself, speaks very little and does not have a terribly expressive face. On the other hand, Louise Bourgoin, who plays Léa, a young woman who arouses his interest, is luminous. She’s the chef at the chic Aiguille du Midi restaurant and understands his love of the mountains.

The images are obviously beautiful: whether it’s evening or morning, whether it’s sunny or clouds are lining the valley floor, the mountains are always majestic.

The film should particularly appeal to those who love mountaineering and the mountains, even if there are some implausibilities: while at the start, Pierre is a beginner in the field, he uses advanced mountaineering techniques towards the END. It is assumed that he took advantage of his free time to study textbooks.

Thomas Salvador discreetly alludes to climate change, which is slowly causing glaciers to disappear and weakening mountain rock. But the heart of the film lies rather in Pierre’s quest and in the bond he develops with Léa. These are universal subjects that can be enjoyed by a wide audience, and not just ice ax and crampon enthusiasts.