Directed by Matthew Dyas, a portrait of the “world’s greatest living explorer” Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a film that goes beyond the record breaking achievements to explore the man behind the myth.
With such expansive accessibility to previously hidden corners of the world, flying off to remote locations and testing your limits has bled into the everyday, but the feats of Sir Ranulph Fiennes are far from everyday. Even just the opening portion of information is genuinely difficult to believe, it’s a great introduction to its exploration of the incredible dedication of Fiennes. The story that unfolds is one of massive bravery and a fortitude which is not often seen today. It’s undoubtedly something to celebrate, Fiennes’ attitude towards life is inspiring, but it’s also highlighting the fact that he did not do it alone. As well as having a team along with him on many adventures, his wife was there supporting him every step of the way. It’s a wonderful example of finding your perfect partner, not many would have had such impressive motivation, patience and to not be driven mad with worry.
Even though today people are recording themselves much more than they should, unfortunately not everything Sir Ranulph Fiennes could be captured. One of the strengths of this documentary is that it isn’t at all affected by that limitation, you get plenty of the experience with archive footage, as well as Fiennes’ first hand accounts. The harsh terrains he explored create some fantastic imagery, dipping into another world, so far from civilisation. However, its use of the present day footage can be somewhat lacklustre and unnecessary. It misses out on keeping a laser, intense focus as the today shots of Fiennes are quite mundane and at times random, so they don’t have a great deal to add.
Explorer is a fascinating account of feats that are awe-inspiring and require an insane amount of dedication and motivation that your average person doesn’t have. It does slightly meander at points when it delves into the present day, but while not all of those moments have something to add, it’s beneficial to have the first hand perspective, nostalgia and reflection. Fiennes’ achievements are ones that a lot of people wouldn’t even dream of, and that’s exactly why they’re so compelling to watch. If the film only went to show one thing, it would be that Sir Ranulph Fiennes has had a life well lived, that many will be envious of.