This star studded film based on true events is emotional, suspenseful and just darn right fantastic. Adventure films are normally a hit or a miss with me as I have very little patience for scenes that are not needed in films, but Everest got the pacing, suspense and emotion completely right. This is not my favourite film of the year, but it is definitely up there as a film that I will enjoy every time I watch it.
Although this film is star studded you wouldn’t think it for watching it. Every single casting decision was on point and you could tell that every single actor embraced their characters, there was not one bad performance in this film. For a film of this nature casting can make or break the entire thing because these actors are portraying real people and I think this is one of the few times I think that every single role was casted correctly.
Everest is inspired by the incredible story of the people who attempted to summit Everest in 1996. I won’t go in to more detail than that because my words can’t do the story justice, but I will say that it shows that the journey back down can be so much more dangerous than the journey up and that this particular story of climbing Everest is inspiring and you should definitely read the book written by Jon Krakauer, the journalist that climbed with the group, which you can find here: Into Thin Air: A personal account of the Everest disaster – updated 2nd edition. I imagine it to be an emotional read as eight people lost their lives on Everest during this particular climb.
I don’t normally go for the 3D option when it comes to films, but I did for Everest as I thought it might add to the experience, it didn’t. I imagine it would look just as great in 2D as it did in 3D. The cinematography blew my mind, it was incredible. Just what you expect from a film of this type and more. Great direction in terms of shots and acting, overall this film just showed great storytelling which I find to be lacking in a lot of recent films. This film had a purpose and that purpose was to tell an incredible story, it went above and beyond and 100% succeeded.
As this film was full of major actors I feel the best way to approach this is to mention my “stand-out” performances of the film. Keira Knightley played Rob Hall’s pregnant wife and, in my opinion, was the highlight of the film. Rob Hall (played by Jason Clarke) had successfully climbed Everest three times before this attempt, one time with his wife, so he was considered an expert in knowing the conditions of Everest. Unfortunately he was one of the eight people who never made it back home after this attempt, this made for the most emotional scene of the entire film. To motivate him to move they phoned Rob’s wife and let them talk through the walkie talkie’s they used to communicate – the scene showed off Keira Knightley’s acting in a very positive way, I rarely cry at films but seeing Keira Knightley cry as she knew she’d lost her husband practically had me sobbing. Great performance.
Jake Gyllenhaal played Scott Fischer who also never made it home after this attempt, Gyllenhaal really made me feel for the character who kept a positive attitude despite knowing he probably shouldn’t continue up Everest due to feeling ill. I think Gyllenhaal is one of the few actors who has been consistently good in roles for many years and this film is no exception.
And my last stand-out performance is Emily Watson, she played Helen Wilton who was the base camp manager. I haven’t seen very much of Emily Watson’s work, but I enjoyed her voice work for Corpse Bride. This film gave me a very good impression of her as an actress, her performance was great. Her most notable scene is when she has contacted Rob Hall and realises that they probably can’t get him down again, her face drops and it is so obvious that she was in the mind set of her character because she made it feel real for the audience.
All in all this is a great film with great performances, cinematography and direction. It’s an emotional rollercoaster and you will feel for every single character.