Peak: The Rescuers- A Must Watch Japanese Movie

In commemoration to the Japan-Philippines Friendship Day, 8 selected Japanese movies have been featured to showcase Japanese culture and lifestyle. Since the admission was free, I did not hesitate to watch the first movie featured entitled Peak: The Rescuers.

This movie is all about the story of a volunteer mountain rescuer named Sampo. For Sampo, mountain is his life, it is his home. Despite the threats of danger and possible death in the mountain, Sampo chose to appreciate its innate beauty and he even encourages those mountaineers that he saved from near death predicaments to come back in the mountain. When a new volunteer Kumi joined the mountain rescuer team, she was inspired with Sampo’s passion with the mountain. Triggered by her attempt to follow her father’s footstep as a rescue leader and Sampo’s expertise, Kumi learns the peril of her new job. Kumi and Sampo together faced the raging storm for a rescue mission and what awaits for them is an overwhelming challenge of a mother nature that leads them to know more about each other and their perspective in life.

Well, I can see two contradicting points in this movie. Sampo emphasizes that you should never abandon life while the rescue team leader said a reckless attempt to save somebody’s life may invite more death. If we are going to view on their perspectives, they are both agreeable. In the case of Sampo, as a rescuer, a volunteer per se, it is his responsibility to go amidst danger just to save the people from their own predicaments. He never blame people, as long as somebody needs his help, he will go and risk his life because he will never allow somebody to die. However, in the case of the rescue team leader, the lives of the volunteers are his responsibility. So when worst comes to worse, he will never allow his people to come saving the lost people in the mountain because for him, this will compromise the life of his team. Well, it’s true, although they are trained, they are only human and mother nature is not an easy challenger.

The story is good, very inspiring and I was in fact moved, but there are some inconsistencies in the plot that would make the movie unrealistic. For instance, why would amateur mountaineers would go trolling in the mountain in the middle of the snow storm? Stupid right? And why would authorities allow these people to trek the mountains even the weather is bad? While I have nothing against mountaineering, I am sure in real life, one would not go if the weather is bad. Also, there are some scenes in the movie that I wish have been visually emphasized. There’s a scene in the movie where a rescuer needs to amputate the leg of a stuck mountaineer so they can get out of the crevasse before the snow freeze them. That scene has been cut, it may be gruesome and gore, but that would be a big plus for this movie.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it and I learned a lesson from the movie. It made me realize that everything in this world is worth risking for. So I am going to rate this movie 8/10.