Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Film Review: "Everest" (2015).

The tagline of the film reads "The most dangerous place on Earth", and that perfectly describes the infamous landmark in Everest. This disaster drama film directed by Baltasar Kormákur and written by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy. It is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. As well as various books about the 1996 Mt Everest disaster, including Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air, and interviews with survivors. On the morning of May 10, 1996, climbers, Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, from two expeditions start their final ascent toward the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. With little warning, a violent storm strikes the mountain, engulfing the adventurers in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by man. Challenged by the harshest conditions imaginable, the teams must endure blistering winds and freezing temperatures in an epic battle to survive against nearly impossible odds.

This movie is based on the worst disaster to ever occur in the Mount Everest region in Nepal, The 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Which refers to the events of 10–11 May 1996, when eight people were caught in a blizzard and died on Mount Everest during summit attempts. Over the entire season, 12 people died trying to reach the summit, making this the deadliest day and the deadliest year on Mount Everest. But a striking coincidence occurred when this movie was being shot in Nepal. On April 18, 2014 16 people were killed from the 2014 Mount Everest avalanche and the casualty was higher than the 1996 disaster which this movie is based on. The shooting had to be postponed and the disaster took the most lives ever taken in an Everest Disaster mostly Sherpas (all Nepalese) who were preparing ground work for the upcoming climbing season. However, the 1996 disaster gained wide publicity and raised questions about the commercialization of Everest. A consultant on the movie, survivor Lou Kasischke, published his account of the Everest tragedy in his book, After the Wind.

The film features an ensemble cast that includes Jason Clarke as Rob Hall, Jake Gyllenhaal as Scott Fischer, Josh Brolin as Beck Weathers, John Hawkes as Doug Hansen, Sam Worthington as Guy Cotter, Robin Wright as Peach, Michael Kelly as Jon Krakauer, Keira Knightley as Jan Arnold, Emily Watson as Helen Wilton, Thomas Wright as Michael Groom, Martin Henderson as Andy Harris, Elizabeth Debicki as Dr. Caroline Mackenzie, Naoko Mori as Yasuko Namba. The performances in the film were superbly portrayed and tried to honour the actual men and women involved. However, the characterizations all suffered from the one element associated with the disaster genre: predictability.

Everest is a technically well crafted Hollywod entertainment constructed as a series of grippingly fateful 'moments of truth'. While the special effects and cinematography are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers a lack of any actual drama or authentic characterizations. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else. The story could've told itself in a compelling way without invented drama.

Simon says Everest receives:

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