‘Infinite Storm’ Ending, Explained: Is The Film Based On A True Story? Did Pam Save John?


“Infinite Storm” depicts the heroic tale of Pam Bales, a woman who risked her life to save a stranger. Pam was a single woman who loved the mountains with all her heart. When her past troubled her mind, she found solace in the silence of the mountains. She belonged to the Pemigewasset Search and Rescue group and had hiked back and forth on the trails numerous times. That day was the same as any other. She woke up early and prepared to climb the mountain, but the weather report was not promising. There were chances of rain and storms. Pam decided to go nonetheless. Naomi Watts’s convincing performance takes the audience on a remarkable journey that will make one hope and pray for the protagonist and the success of her rescue operation.

‘Infinite Storm’ Plot Summary: Is The Film Based On A True Story?

The film is based on the true story of Pam Bales and how she managed to save the life of a stranger. She single-handedly brought the man to safety. Her journey and the rescue operation were not just a success story but also a story of healing by helping those around us. Pam reached the base camp of Mountain Washington and noticed a car parked in the parking lot. She asked the hikers who had climbed down the mountain if they had found anyone else on the way, but they could not provide any concrete information. She carried her equipment and started her journey through the forest.

She loudly proclaimed that every individual needed some amount of wilderness in their life. She was visibly happy to be amidst the greenery. As she climbed up, she noticed that the wind was getting intense. She enjoyed her cup of hot coffee while watching the sun through the layers of clouds. The picturesque moment filled her heart, but the threat of the weather turning bad remained. Distant thunder and rumbling could be heard, and Pam was determined to complete her journey in time and return to the base before night. Her plan was interrupted the moment she noticed the footmarks of another hiker. She knew he was in trouble as the person was wearing sneakers in the snow. She followed in his footsteps. In the meantime, the blizzard was unleashed. On her way, she fell into a hole and struggled to push herself out. At the moment she was giving up, she dreamt of her children, two little girls. Her warm memories of them cozied her and encouraged her to not give up that easily. She knew she had to save the person, and that was what helped her save herself from the situation.

She found a man sitting on top of the mountain. She was wearing shorts and sneakers. She immediately changed him into warm clothes and tried her best to ensure he was doing alright. She named him John, not knowing his real name, and carried him with her, motivating him whenever he wanted to give up. With very few words exchanged, Pam became John’s life support, who not only helped him stay alive but also pushed back the terrible thoughts that clouded his mind.

Major Spoilers Ahead

How Did Pam Save John?

Pam made John believe in himself when he had completely given up. He did not wish to be saved from the atrocities of nature and the difficult thoughts in his mind. He ran to jump off the cliff but failed in his attempt. He refused to move after a point, but Pam physically and mentally convinced him to not give up so soon. After reaching the forest, when John had to cross the river by balancing himself on the bark of a tree, he failed to do so and fell into the river.

Pam could not hold back her tears, knowing that she could not save the man after crossing the most difficult part of the trail. But then she heard movement in the water. Overjoyed by the possibility, she walked into the water and found John in a fragile state. She could not believe that he had survived even the harshness of the river. She pulled him out of the water and assisted him to the road. They called for help from a passing car, but that did not work.

She carried him to the parking lot. She asked him to wait while she heated her car, but John ran away. He got in his car and rushed off from the parking lot. Pam was taken aback; she had not hoped for such a reaction from the man she had saved. She drove back home and tended to her injuries.

‘Infinite Storm’ Ending Explained: What Did John And Pam’s Meeting Signify?

After recovering herself, she found that her name had been all over the news. The man did not reveal his name to the police and the journalists, but he praised Pam for saving him selflessly. He was forever grateful to her, and he believed that he was alive only because of her. Journalists started talking to Pam, hoping to find the man in question as he seemed to be an interesting figure. They wanted to find out if he wanted to have a word with her.

Later, John and Pam met at an eatery. John was in a better state than when Pam had met him. She clearly had several questions in her mind: what was he doing in the mountains in a pair of shorts? Why did he think of committing suicide when she tried to help him? And most importantly, what was his name? He insisted she continue to call him John. While Pam had those questions in mind, she could not ask any of them. John discussed his life spontaneously. After the unforgettable mountain hike, he failed to remember the face of the woman he loved. He remembered every detail of her face but not the entirety of it. He had gone to the mountain to find her. He had lost her there, and he hoped to find her in the same place. He searched for her but then gave up, thinking that she would come for him if he just sat still. He closed his eyes and sat still on the mountain top, hoping to be greeted by his love, but he instead heard Pam respond. He thanked her for being there at the moment. After listening to his story, Pam shared the most devastating memory of her own, the day she lost her daughters. There was a gas leak in the building. She had slept in the living room on the couch with the windows slightly open. When she woke up, she could not stand. Even now, she remembered the paint on the wall and the feeling of the carpet on her hands and knees. She remembered wanting to save her daughters, who were there in the next room, but she could not. John responded by asking her if life was getting better. She replied that even in all the harshness, there is beauty in life. The whole universe is an infinite storm of beauty in the end. Pam cherishes the memories of her daughters as she sits alone in her house. “Infinite Storm” ends with the image of Pam Bales. We learn later that she had raised four children. At the age of 67, she left New Hampshire and dedicated herself to becoming a Patrol volunteer in various national parks in the western U.S.

Both John and Pam were broken individuals. They had lost the people they loved the most in their lives. “Infinite Storm” is about believing in oneself at a time when it is most difficult to do so. It is about having faith in the good that exists in the world and not losing hope when nothing seems to work. They helped each other realize their worth. Without Pam, John wouldn’t have made it from the mountain, and without John, Pam would not have realized the effect her life had on others. She might not have been able to save her daughters, but she continued to save lives, and that is all that mattered.

“Infinite Storm” is a 2022 Drama Thriller film directed by Malgorzata Szumowska.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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