At first light, on May 10, 1996, mountain climbers Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) and Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin) from two parties started their final scramble to reach the peak of Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Almost instantly, a savage storm begins to lay waste to the mountain and climbers, trapping them in one of the fiercest blizzards ever encountered by humanity. Challenged by unfathomable conditions, the teams must endure flesh-biting winds and subzero temperatures in an epic battle of man vs nature.
The movie shows us what humanity is willing to do to survive. It pushes the human mind to its very limits. These climbers had subjected themselves to mother nature’s cold-hearted rage. This is as bad as it gets. They had put themselves through a long night that would never end. The cold got to a point that they didn’t feel the cold but they began to feel hot. What happens when we feel hot? We start taking our clothes off. Not a good idea when you’re on Mount Everest. You’ll freeze to death in seconds. They experienced the long night that never ends. A night so cold that one minute feels like one hour. The cold eating away at you to the point that you can’t move. Humans simply aren’t designed to survive at the altitude of a 747. The storm came, the gas ran out, people began jumping off the mountain and had simply lost the will to live. Mother nature has revealed herself.
This, by far, is not a happy tale. Most films of this nature tend to be predictable and you think everyone will survive in the end. Not this time. As an audience, we are a constantly in fear of one of the characters dying. They are constantly in compromising positions and winter comes for many of them. What makes it worse is that you can’t bury any of the dead because it’s too dangerous to collect the bodies. Their bodies are still there to this day. Mother nature is highly unpredictable and a storm could arrive at any moment. By the end of the film, half of the cast were either dead or critically injured. On one hand it makes you feel bad for them but on the other the climbers knew what they were getting themselves into. They knew they could die. Everest has left plenty in its wake, but to some people reaching the top is more important than living. It’s about sending a message. To endure life is not living, that’s surviving. One of the characters, Doug (John Hawkes) wanted to inspire his kids and others as well. He talks about how the kids at the school helped him raise the money so he could climb this mountain.
“I have kids. If they see that a regular guy can follow impossible dreams, maybe they’ll do the same.”
The film has a stellar cast: Jason Clarke (Lawless), Michael Kelly (House Of Cards), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Robin Wright (House Of Cards), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Emily Watson (The Theory Of Everything), Josh Brolin (True Grit), Sam Worthington (Avatar) and John Hawkes (American Gangster). I couldn’t fault any of their performances. They were solid performances and a very emotional heartfelt performance from Clarke. It was hard for him to leave anyone behind as he doesn’t do that many characters call him out on being too emotional. He cares more about other people’s wellbeing, than he does about his own. On Everest, most people would only care about themselves getting to the top and back to the bottom again. Rob wants to help as many people as he can as he truly cares about everyone.
Nature is beautiful but it’s also a serial killer in its own right. It can’t be controlled or reasoned with. It’s abstract and you can’t touch it. It comes in many forms and you just have let it run its course. The movie delivers great visuals and jaw dropping shots of Everest. Nature can be a gift or a curse. How can something so beautiful be so brutal? It leads you into a false sense of security and then it gets you before you know what’s happened. Everest, but nature in general is a heartless bitch.