Watching this movie leaves the viewer in no doubt that the hero of this movie is Mt. Everest. Everest is by no means what would be called an entertainment film. The mountain is brutal in real life and similarly is reflected in this movie. The opening few texts take care of business and get us right into how mountain-climbing, an activity for highly trained explorers transformed into an Adventure tourism. Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is the man in charge of one such company called Adventure Consultants. Rob leads one such expedition in the summer of 1996 leaving his pregnant wife Jan Hall (Keira Knightley) behind in New Zealand. The story is based on a real-life tragedy during an attempt to summit Mt. Everest in 1996.
This awe-inspiring movie draws it strength from the most breathtaking spectacle of Mt. Everest, giving viewers ample opportunities to get the feel of what it is like to be on top of the world. Everest continuously builds the tension as you wait for the disaster to come in like an avalanche and engulf the climbers, yet the film is not all dread but is laced with moments of triumph. The movie will leave you appreciating the gargantuan achievement of summiting the mountain and leave you in no doubt that Mt. Everest is the true hero of this movie.
The movie gets you right into the story of a motley group of inexperienced and experienced mountaineers making an attempt on Mt. Everest. They may not be professionals, but they are definitely not rookies by any means. Amongst the group, the most memorable cast has been Texan Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) and never giving up Doug Hansen (John Hawkes). They are joined by Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori) who has topped the six of the Seven Summit and is now looking forward to accomplish the highest of the summits and star journalist, Jon Krakeuer (Michael Kelly) amongst others. Josh Brolin is wonderful as the texan climber and gives a memorable performance though sadly his wife Peach (Robin Wright) does not have much of an role in the film and Robin is sadly underutilized.On the fateful day of 10th May, multiple expeditions attempted to summit the mountain which highlights the overcrowding of the mountain. One such expedition was lead by Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) a rival climb organizer and Hall’s friend, they collectively decide to pool their sources and overcome the challenge together. A notable mention is Guy Cotter (Sam Worthington) who is sort of wasted in his role as is Jake Gyllenhaal. Audiences will feel cheated as two popular actors are under utilized and the viewer would have wanted to see them more. The movie fails to do justice to all the cast members.
Watching this movie leaves the viewer in no doubt that the hero of this movie is Mt. Everest. Everest is by no means an what would be called an entertainment film.
From the onset, it is quite evident that a catastrophe is waiting to happen with so many teams trying to summit the same day. Things go wrong and if the weather turns bad it can cause havoc. As viewers, we’re left with the feeling of wanting to scream at the characters to turn around and not go further as events unfold which seals the climbers’ doom. Comparisons to one of the all time disaster movies Titanic are inevitable, though here Director Baltasar Karmakur fails in his attempt for the audience to connect with the character, though he does his best to wrangle the huge character sets. It was at times difficult to keep track of who’s who as the climbing gear often masked the face and muffled their voices. The screenplay is crisp in its writing and the movie moves along briskly as it hits all the beats with precision, though it suffers from under-developed characters and often at times using scenes which lead to nowhere.
Baltasar and the writers Mark Medoof, Simon Beaufoy & Justin Isbell handicapped the movie from reaching its summit and figured the awe-inspiring spectacle of Everest and its visual would carry the film. We are left with a bit of a disappointment that the film could have been more. The movie is a definite watch for the visuals which transport you to the top of the world. Overall a finely made film but little care in handling and it would have surely got this film to the summit it set out to scale.