Sunday, September 20, 2015

Review of Everest

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Cast: Jason Clarke (Rob Hall), a New Zealander Expedition Group Leader, Jake Gyllenhaal (Scott Fischer, an Expedition Group Leader), Josh Brolin (Beck Weathers, a doctor), John Hawkes (Doug Hansen, a mailman), Robin Wright (Peach, Weather’s wife), Emily Watson (Helen Wilton), Keira Knighley (Jan Arnold, Rob Hall’s pregnant wife), Sam Worthington (Guy Cotter), Michael Kelly (Jon Krakauer, a journalist), Thomas Wright (Michael Groom, an Australian mountain climber), Martin Henderson (Andy Harris), Elizabeth Debicki (Dr. Caroline Mackenzie), Naoko Mori (Yasuko Namba), Clive Standen (Ed Viesturs), Vanessa Kirby (sandy Hill), Tom Goodman-Hill (Neal Beidleman), Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson (Anatoli Bourkreev), Charlotte Boving (lene Gammelgaard, aDanish climber in Fischer’s group), Micah Hauptman (David Breashears, a documentary filmmaker and maountaineer), Chris Reilly (Klev Schoening), Chike Chan (Makalu Gau), Vijay Lama (Lt. Col. Madan KC, Nepal Army rescue helicopter pilot), Mark Derwin (Lou Kasischke), Mia Goth (Meg, Weathers’ daughter)
Direction: Baltasar Kormakur
Produced by: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Baltsar Kormakur, Nicy Thompson, Brian Oliver
Written By: William Nicholson, Simon Beaufoy
Cinematographer: Salvatore Totino
Editor: Mick Audsley
Music: Dario Marianelli
Production Company: Cross Creek Pictures, Walden Media, Working Title Films, RVK Studios, Free State Pictures
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 18th September, 2015
Language: English
Duration: 2 hours 02 minutes

Everest, a film by Baltasar Kormakur, showcases the tragedy of 1996 Mount Everest Disaster. It was on 10-11th May, 1996, when eight people (including a guide and two expedition leaders) were caught in a blizzard (severe snowstorm with heavy winds) and died on Mount Everest during their summit attempts. The data says that over the entire season, 12 people died trying to reach the summit, making this the deadliest day / year on Mount Everest until the 16 fatalities of the 2014 Mount Everest Avalanche and 18 deaths resulting from avalanches caused by the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake. One will be heartbroken to see the mountaineers dying.

This film is the story of people who are very passionate about adventure and especially mountaineering. Two expedition groups led by Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) had set their target to ascent the mountain and reach the summit on 10th May, 1996. Climbers’ desire was to conquer the unconquered. Climbers, when inquired on why they want to climb, somebody expressed – “Because, It is there”. Someone else said, she had conquered six summits, this would be her 7th Summit. They had all the reasons behind their passion and drive to climb the highest point on the earth. During their chit chats, one of the climber expressed it very beautifully : “It is not the altitude, but the attitude matters”.  

Rob and Scott, two expert climbers, though leading two different expedition groups, decided to join hands together, pool in resources, in case, crisis happened. They lead their groups for the ascent, but fiery blizzards engulfed their adventurous journey, posed a big challenge in front of them. It was very difficult for the mountaineers to endure these harsh conditions, blistering winds, freezing temperature, lack of sufficient oxygen cylinders etc. Lot of heartbreaking scenes are there. It is so sad to see the passionate mountaineers with strong drive for results fighting with the odd snow storm conditions till the end to survive. Ultimately a few of them could not conquer the storm and gave up. It is even more sad to understand that even the dead bodies could not be brought to the base camp.

Frames move from the climbers’ struggle in the mountain to fight the snow-storm to the base camp where people handling the base camp are trying to contact the climbers through radio, encouraging them to keep their hopes alive and courage to survive. The scene, where Rob is made to talk to his pregnant wife is absolutely heart-wrenching.

Who all survive the storm and who all give up? Watch the movie.

I certainly believe that such movies are not meant for review, since, somebody has actually lived these moments of grief, sadness, death, survival, triumphs etc. I just felt that I had lot of confusion to understand each character on screen and recognize their face, due to darkness or faces covered (which was indeed an integral part of the film). Probably, a little background of each character in the beginning could have helped me to understand the characters and their journey in a better manner.

Cinematography is awesome, jaw-dropping with the different angles of the mountains, capturing of the snow-storm, snow covering the bodies of the climbers etc. These scenes will leave you awe-struck and at the same time sad. Minute details are covered with great finesse.

Watch Everest and experience the film. It is not the altitude, but the attitude matters. Dedicated to great mountaineers who ascent the mountains with great passion and drive.

Rating: 4 / 5 (Very Good)