Monday, October 19, 2015

Movie Review - Everest

Everest - the movie
I have had the privileged of trekking to Everest Base Camp. I took to the movie my memories of Nepal; the chaos of Kathmandu, the friendliness, politeness and hospitality of the Sherpa people, and the beauty and foreboding of the Himalayas. 

Although nothing like ascending to the summit, my trek - reaching the peak of Kala Patthar - came with its own mental and physical challenges. Pushing through barriers of pain and will power and managing the effects of thinning oxygen.  I enjoyed seeing the some of the key landmarks of the lower Himalayas in the beginning of the film, places I have visited, photographed and survived.

To this regard Everest rang true to me. The blasts of wind and snow and sleet were physically real. I shared the characters sense of achievement as they fulfilled their goal.

A lot of the movie was filmed on studio sound stages, and normally I find myself picking where the use of green screen is obvious. I was completely drawn into the location and I was on the mountain with them.

I saw Everest at IMAX, seeing it 3D may have helped, that along with the surround sound that I could see my mother coming out of the film saying, “Oooh it was loud though”.

Criticism of the film is that it is not accurate to the facts of the true life story; I was not there so I can neither agree nor disagree with this critique. I can say visually, the movie took  all the way to the top of Mount Everest. I felt the cold, I cried at the achievement, experienced the effects of acrophobia during many of the scenes and shared the desperation and panic of all of the characters as they struggled to survive. I can struggle to keep track of characters in movies and this did become difficult in this film due to the fact that all of the male characters grew unkempt facial hair throughout the duration of the trek. It was only the colours of their weather proof clothing that distinguished them. Like the Wiggles went mountaineering.

A gripping movie. 

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