Everest: Film Review

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I have been excited by this for a while because I like disaster movies, this is based on a true story, it has a stellar cast and it looked amazing. I was not let down. Everest was actually better than I expected. It is by no means perfect but it was gripping, heart-breaking and stunning.

The film follows two teams of climbers who are taking paying amateurs to the summit of Mount Everest in May 1996. New Zealander Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) leads one group and American Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) leads another. They both make their final ascent on 10-11th May 1996, when a violent storm unexpectedly hits, leaving the climbers stranded and fighting for their lives with little oxygen left in their tanks. Josh Brolin, John Hawkes and Vanessa Kirby play other real-life climbers, Keira Knightley and Robin Wright are partners hearing the news from home and Emily Watson, Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Debicki are trying to hold things together at base camp.

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I was worried this would look too CGI and unrealistic but it doesn’t at all. I truly believe they are there (turns out they were – just not so high) and this has a great mix of breathtaking landscape shots to personal dramas/health issues. I deliberately stopped myself researching the disaster before watching so I could be surprised and I cannot believe how many people died. It was brutal!

However, the one issue I had with this is that there are SO many characters. It is hard to remember who is who, especially when they are all wrapped up in climbing gear. You don’t get background and depth about anyone except Rob really, which means I didn’t feel much when some of them died. In two instances, it happens so quickly that I had to laugh because I just couldn’t believe it. There are a few deaths that did get to me though and I had tears in my eyes when the post-script came up.

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It is just over two hours long but it flew by and I could have watched more. It was gripping stuff and I desperately wanted the others to get down the mountain to safety. Some injuries are pretty nasty and will have you wincing. The dialogue was fine, I had no issues with it, but I would have liked more about each of the characters, but that would have taken a long time! I have nothing but praise for the cast (some of which are barely in it) but I thought Knightley’s and Watson’s performances were the most poignant and powerful because it really demonstrates the impact of the disaster. They both use New Zealand accents and I was 90% convinced by them.

This is brilliant, I cannot state this enough. I want to watch it again already and read any books about it. It has had a lasting effect on me.

In cinemas now 

Trackbacks

  1. […] This stuck with me for a long time afterwards and I ended up reading Jon Krakaeur’s book Into The Air. I just find the idea that people would want to put their lives in danger so dramatically by climbing Mount Everest so insane. So this tale is both fascinating and tragic. It looks incredible, it tells an unbelievable true story and boasts a stellar cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke. Review. […]

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