The title of this new real-life film starring Naomi Watts is derived from a John Muir quote connecting the ‘whole universe to beauty.’
Infinite Storm is built on rugged naturalism but unsuccessfully merits melodrama through misery and mending. Given the moniker one might expect a potent disaster flick, but given the actual events and how they’re portrayed here the less that is known may be for the better.
Scenarist Joshua Rollins not so distinctly covers the milieu of Watts’s New Hampshire hiker, nurse and rescue volunteer Pam Bales who previously recounted the perilous episode in October 2010 in essay form.
A ‘therapeutic’ traversal in the White Mountains up the famed, treacherous (6288 foot high) Mt. Washington has Pam meeting up with blizzard-like conditions.
Her descent leads to the ‘sneaker’ prints of the unfit, uncooperative stranded stranger dubbed ‘John’ (Billy Howle) who is no match for the terrain, let alone the brutal conditions.
You have to credit Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska’s to instill an austere, immersive experience for awhile with sloshing and sinkholes with Pam’s orange-hued goggle offering some scary realism. The White Mountains are covered here by the Slovenia Alps to often striking effect.
However, what should have more kinetic equilibrium about it falls into a philosophical languor initially in recalling Pam’s subtext which doesn’t hame the emotional aura of Wild (where a down-and-out Cheryl Strayed played by Reese Witherspoon made the trek of her life).
Infinite Storm primarily is a two-handler given what led to the extreme, gelid conditions for essential kindred souls. Watts has brought her resolute gravitas to more resonant, less insinuated frameworks from the convolute, but raw 21 Grams to the nightmarish.
Thailand family vacation in The Impossible. But, a poignant outcome can’t be pulled up even from the snowy bootstrap of such a compassionate, skilled survivor like Pam Bales.