'Everest' - Movie review
This film tries to document the heart-stopping journey of two different expeditions to the peak of the Everest with their mettle sorely tested by unimaginable, harsh conditions
Dir: Baltasar Kormakur
Cast: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright
The scale is impressive, but the overall enjoyment is suspect
This film tries to document the heart-stopping journey of two different expeditions to the peak of the Everest with their mettle sorely tested by unimaginable, harsh conditions. The two are inching their way to the summit when they are hit by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind and have to pit their skills against nature to carve a route to survival and success. The climbers have to face impossible odds en route to achieve their ambition — a life-long obsession that is precarious at best.
The story is put together from news reports and never-heard-before tapes focussed on accounts of adventure consultant leader Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and Texan climber Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin). Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), who published his personal account of the event (Into Thin Air), is one of the not-so-significant characters in the movie. His presence becomes important because it throws light on the short cuts taken regarding safety, in the
growing atmosphere of commercialisation in adventure sports. He asks important questions, but the answers are generally not forthcoming.
Everest is basically a compilation of events and elements that could make for a thrill a minute experience, but the eventual combination is sorely wanting. The majesty of the mountains is lost in the intimate detailing of struggle against nature and the thrills just don’t hit home. Also, the emotional connect is not too strong. So even when we think there are dire consequences for such a obsessive culmination of adventurous ambition, the dread is missing.
Characters don’t matter, scale is impressive but the overall enjoyment is suspect. Icelander, Baltasar makes all the wrong choices here. Too many close-ups and a few imposing vistas don’t measure up to the kind of high velocity thrills one expects.