‘Society of the Snow’ Review: A Gripping Tribute to Survival Against All Odds


When I sat down to watch ‘Society of the Snow,’ I wasn’t sure what to expect. We’ve seen Hollywood take on survival stories before, with varying degrees of success. But J.A. Bayona’s latest film isn’t just another survival flick; it’s a riveting journey that pays homage to the human spirit’s resilience. Bayona, known for his unique storytelling style, brings to life the harrowing tale of the 1972 Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crash with an intensity that grips you from the first frame.

‘Society of the Snow’ plunges us into the chilling true story of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571. In 1972, the plane, carrying a rugby team, crashed in the Andes, leaving the survivors in a brutal fight for life. The film carefully reenacts the initial horror of the crash and the ensuing struggle for survival in the unforgiving mountains. It’s more than a tale of disaster; it’s a deep dive into the psychological and physical challenges the survivors faced, with the narrative being guided by the ethereal presence of Numa Turcatti, a law student and one of the victims.

The film’s heart lies in its portrayal of the survivors’ journey. Two of them, Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa, embark on an almost impossible trek across the Andes in a desperate bid for rescue. The narrative balances this bleak situation with a sense of hope and the indomitable human spirit. The viewers are taken on an emotional rollercoaster, as the film delves into the depths of what it means to be human in the face of insurmountable odds.


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J.A. Bayona’s direction is a standout aspect of ‘Society of the Snow.’ He captures the harrowing ordeal with a raw intensity that’s rare in survival dramas. The scenes of the crash are crafted with such visceral realism; they’re both hard to watch and impossible to turn away from. Yet, amidst this chaos, Bayona manages to keep the story grounded, focusing on the survivors’ resilience and their emotional journey, which adds a layer of depth to the film.

The cast’s performance is impressive. They bring authenticity to their roles, capturing the essence of the real-life individuals they portray. There’s a notable absence of Hollywood glamorization, which often plagues such true stories. This authentic approach allows the audience to connect more deeply with the characters’ experiences, making their journey feel personal and relatable. The script, co-written by Bayona and his team, is equally impressive. It’s respectful to the survivors and those who perished, handling the sensitive subject matter with the dignity it deserves.

Visually, the film is stunning. The use of actual locations adds to the immersive experience, making the audience feel the isolation and vastness of the Andes. Michael Giacchino’s score is another highlight, adding an emotional layer to the film, enhancing both the tense and poignant moments.

In conclusion, ‘Society of the Snow’ is a film that goes beyond the typical survival drama. It’s a powerful, respectful tribute to the human spirit’s capacity for endurance and hope in the most dire of circumstances. Bayona has not only created a film that is visually spectacular and emotionally gripping, but also one that honors the real-life story it represents. It’s a film that stays with you long after the credits roll, a testament to the strength of the human will and the power of hope.

SCORE: 9/10

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