Cast: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin,
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Genre: Drama, adventure thriller
Duration: 121 minutes
Showing: Cinema Magic Metroplex Mall Naalya and Century Cinemax Acacia Mall Kisementi.
Climbing Mount Everest has always been used as a euphemism for doing something difficult –with good reason. Scaling the seven peaks of the highest mountain on earth is no mean feat, although that has not stopped several people from adding “climb Mt Everest” to their bucket list.
Everest captures the lives of such a group, when they set out for the final ascent to the seventh summit of the mountain, which is 8,000m above sea level, on May 10, 1996. So, yes, Everest is based on events that happened. I say best lest someone else confuses it for a documentary just like the person who told me to check it out.
In the movie, different expedition groups set off to climb the mountain. Rob Hall (Clarke) leads one group, and Scott Fisher (Gyllenhaal) another. As both groups are going up the peak, a blizzard breaks out, putting all their lives in danger. What follows is some 3D action with the snow and ice that will definitely get you digging your fingers into the arm rests in the cinema. In between following what is happening to the climbers, we get to see how their families back home are faring. The most outstanding is Hall’s wife, Jan (Knitley) who is pregnant.
Movies based on real life events are usually easy meat for critics to tear apart – all they have to do is compare them to the events they inspired. The same can’t be said for Everest. First, it zeroes in on which characters we are rooting for the most, in the same way Titanic did with Rose and Jack. Everest may not be as melodramatic as Titanic but Rob and Jan Hall’s storyline gives some major heart to the movie, without diminishing the stories of the other climbers. That is a good balance for cinema.
However, there is a feeling that the screenwriters played it too safe with the plot. For anyone who has read about the 1996 Mt Everest disaster, you go into the movie with a good idea of how everything is going to go down, and it does so in almost the same way you read about it. Movie makers have the license to tweak events here and there for entertainment. Unfortunately, Kormákur did not use it, despite several opportunities, making the movie a little predictable.