Based on the Mount Everest disaster of 1996, Everest tries to become that disaster movie and thriller which the audience would love to watch. There has been something special about the disaster movies as almost every movie of the genre has created some impact, no matter who all have acted on it and not depending on the time of its release; people have always been interested in such themes. As it is based on that deadliest season on Mount Everest during its time of happening, it had enough strength to create something commercially positive even before the release of the movie.
The story takes place in March 1996 when climbers arrive at Lukla and then at the base camp to conquer the big one, Mount Everest. Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), a guide for the mountaineering company “Adventure Consultants” with his clients including Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin), Doug Hansen (John Hawkes), and Yasuko Namba (Naoko Mori), is trying to do this while Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), the guide for another trekking firm “Mountain Madness” attempts the same with his own team. Things seem to go fine until some unfortunate twists of events happen, and with a blizzard striking when least expected, they are surely in trouble. It turns out that this journey is the last for some of them.
Everest is less of a movie and more of an experience, which means that the effect of this movie can vary significantly for the audience depending on what they are looking for in a movie. This experience is kept as realistic as possible, lacking in exaggerations and going through what seems to be more or less of the real-life situations. It is not really something on the lines of an action movie, and never does it try to overdo the stuff. The result is that there is no special stylish ingredient here. But the tension and the thrills are nicely boosted, and there is also some good emotional strength here. There also exist a lot of such moments, and they relate to the audience really well.
The shots of Everest become another amazing addition to this movie which uses them to perfection. The snow and the danger combines together to create the desired effect on the audience, thanks to the way in which the shots are taken. The viewers are given a nice opportunity to go through a ride through the route which inspired a lot of adventurers and has claimed many lives. Maybe they could have added more shots from the lower areas of the mountain too. The 3D is mostly not needed though, except for a few moments, one has to wonder why it had to be added. As this is kept more realistic, the opportunity to use the 3D is limited quite a lot.
The movie also feels a little long, even when it doesn’t extend much more than two hours. It is because there is not much of a story about it, and it is the experience of the adventure that Everest depends on. The beginning also has a certain amount of drag caused by early dialogues and the delay in getting into action. But as the movie is based on a true story and close enough to the truth, the difficulties are kept to minimum. The movie explores two sides of the same incident; disaster for one side and survival as well as adventures on the other side. There are no human heroes and villains here as it becomes the “humans against nature” story.
The performances are nothing less than terrific, lead by Jason Clarke and the moments with Keira Knightley might surely be the most moving moments in a disaster movie. One does hope for more of Jake Gyllenhaal and Sam Worthington even though they make something good out of their presence on the screen. The cast works smoothly, and Josh Brolin has the next big moments with the snow, survival and the family members. As these characters make their way through the snow, the viewers give the full support, and they also do shed a few tears on the loss of life, while the great mountain with the support of Mother Nature manages to have the last laugh.
Even though Everest doesn’t bother much on the plot, it has used its biggest strengths, of visuals and of emotions to the full extent. By the end of the movie, along with feeling sad for those depressing moments of loss, one also wonders about the cost of adventure and also on who wins in the end, whenever there is the feeling of need for the conquest of nature and its elements are concerned. Everest is a direct movie, and it doesn’t preach or try to add something that will send the viewer to deep thinking, but it still lingers on one’s mind with its emotional strength and what it has brought to screen as a realistic experience.