Everest depicts the real life disaster which occurred between the 10th and 11th of May 1996, when eight people were caught in a blizzard and died on Mount Everest during summit attempts. Making it the deadliest day and the deadliest year on Everest until 2014.
This film presents the lead up to the events which were partially caused by violent storms that hit the groups trying to summit. It is set at a time when ascending mountains was becoming a booming industry. One of the most successful companies was the New Zealand based Adventure Consultants, formed by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), an experienced climber who had already led others to the summit successfully. Giving his company a great reputation as one of the best to climb with. The story begins as Hall sets off for another ascent, leaving his pregnant wife (Kiera Knightley) back in Churchland. His group includes close friend and mailman Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), wise cracking Texan Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), and Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), a journalist there to write a feature on Everest and Adventure Consultants.
Shot in Italy, Iceland and at the base of Everest in Nepal, when combined, Director Kormákur and the cinematographers open up a world that many of us have never experienced nor seen. Cleverly making the viewers feel like they are on the mountain, encountering the beautiful but often dangeours mother nature.
The drama in Everest mostly comes across as restrained. We all know there is disaster and death involved but everything leading up to it is subdued, which some could argue is a positive as the writers never over dramatise the story for the sake of sensationalism. With that being said, there are some gripping moments that will leave viewers on the edge of their seat, however, those scenes are rare and mostly take place in the middle of the film as the characters head into dangerous territory.
The problem with Everest is that there are too many real life characters portrayed, and with so many well known actors vying for attention, it’s hard to connect emotionally to any one individual even in the worst and saddest of circumstances. It is essential to explore the personalities and lives of each individual in order for viewers to feel for the characters, but in Everest we only ever see glimpses of their lives outside mountain climbing.
With several of the best actors in Hollywood involved, it should go without saying that they are all great at their role. However, with some of their air time being miniscule, it would be fair to assume a few of the actors were hired for more film exposure and hype.
In an odd move, writers of Everest heavily relied on books (written by a few who were there) to create the script instead of also speaking to the survivors located in New Zealand and in Australia. One can’t help but think that it would have been for the benefit of the film if they had contacted everyone.
Everest is not a feel good movie with a happy ending. Pictures shown in the end of the real people involved is possibly the saddest moment in the film. It’s hard looking at their smiling happy faces knowing most of them passed soon after.
I rate it 6 out of 10 stars.
Everest opens in cinemas tomorrow.