The Brat Reviews Everest (2015)

Photo Source: Wikipedia

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Written by: William Nicholson & Simon Beaufoy
Cast: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington, Robin Wright, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Martin Henderson
Duration: 121 minutes

“Human beings simply aren’t built to function at the cruising altitude of a 747. Our bodies will be literally dying.”
– Rob Hall

That is why to summit Mount Everest is such an extraordinary feat. And in the film Everest, we get to enjoy some semblance of the experience without actually facing the dangers of climbing to the top of the tallest mountain in the world above sea level.

At Travelzoo Asian Edition, I handle almost all the research on tours we feature. In fact, I was working on so many Nepal tour deals that I was tempted to purchase a voucher and trek to the Everest Base Camp or at the very least explore Kathmandu and Pokhara. I’m totally not the adventurous sort, but even I was tempted to see a view like this with my very own eyes.

nepal-MtEverestBaseTrek

Photo Source: Travelzoo Asian Edition

Before the Gorkha earthquake occurred in April 2015, our most popular tour destination was Nepal. However, due to the earthquakes in April and May this year, people are still a bit wary of going to Nepal.

But you are really keen to see Mount Everest up close, Travelzoo Asian Edition currently has two 10 day Nepal tours starting from just USD 699. This tour was published the week Everest opened in theatres in Singapore. Something I felt might not have been such a smart idea. Especially since the Gorkha earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 18, making April 25, 2015 the deadliest day on the mountain in history. That said, one cannot avoid Mount Everest forever. If you want to see it in person, then you have to bite the bullet and just go.

To date, the disaster in 1996 on which this film is based on is the third deadliest day on the mountain. But before the 2014 Mount Everest avalanche which killed 16 people, it was considered the worst in history for many years.

My boyfriend asked me, ‘why would you want to go watch a film in which you already know who dies and who lives?’ I am not too bothered by spoilers unless knowing the ending before hand really affects the full experience of the film. Because it’s based on a true story, I knew going into the theatre that I was there to observe the events of the day and experience a bit of what those people felt. And on that end, this film delivered.

While doing my research on Nepal for the tours, I had seen countless photos of Nepal’s cities and of course the mighty Mount Everest. So right from the start of the film, I felt an affinity to the visuals on the big screen. It was like the pictures I had seen so many times suddenly comes to life.

A friend who has watched the film 127 hours said that Everest was not as touching or as focused the former. But that is to be expected. A true story about one man’s plight has the full two hours dedicated to his journey and ordeal. But with Everest, it’s a tale about many men and how everything and everyone at the time contributed to that tragedy.

The concept of cause and effect fascinates me to no end. Also, the power of nature is a theme that I have great interest in as well.

Just like how I adore the film Twister, I really enjoyed Everest because it about human beings who follow their dreams and chase it relentlessly disregarding the harm and danger them put themselves through.

Jon Krakauer: It hurts, it’s dangerous, why?
Doug Hansen: I have kids. They see a regular guy can follow impossible dreams, maybe they’ll do the same.

This scene in the film really struck a chord with me. Jon Krakauer, a journalist who went on that 1996 expedition asked his fellow climbers why they risk everything to climb Mount Everest. And maybe Doug Hansen didn’t actually say those words, but I like his answer in the film because it really sends the message across that anything is possible if you set your heart and mind to it.

And that is why I really enjoyed this film.

[3.5/5 stars]

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