Having a boyfriend very keen on cinema is fun, thanks to him, I often go to the cinema to see all kinds of new movies. With the very large range of movies available in the cinema, I know it’s pretty hard to decide which one to see. Therefore, I decided to share with you some of the movies that I’ve seen so you can choose more easily ! Today, I introduce to you the movie Everest, based on Jon Kraukauer’s book “Into Thin Air”. 

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EVEREST | The movie

Everest, the movie

On Tuesday evening, I went to see the movie EVEREST. The first thing I want to tell you about the movie is that, it is that it was intense ! It had been a long time since I had been so much captivated by a film from the beginning until the end. A few words of explanation for those of you who haven’t heard about Everest.  The movie relates the tragic events of May 10th and 11th in 1996 when few commercial expeditions were climbing on the top of Everest. More precisely, the movie tells the story of two groups: the AdventureConsultants guided by Rob Hall, and Mountain Madness run by Scott Fisher.

CONTEXT OF THE MOVIE

After the first successful ascent on Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay, many people tried, at the risk of their life, to achieve it as well. Since 1953, more than 10 000 people tried to reach the top of Everest, among which 4000 succeeded and 225 lost their lives. Personnally, I consider that it is some kind of hubris against nature, but I can understand it. In the movie, the guide Anatoli Boukreev explains it:” It is not about competition between men, but between the man and the mountain. But the mountain will always have the last word”. Many among the 4000 mountaineers who managed to climb Everest, some of them did it with commercial expeditions. Paying to be guided on the top of a mountain started in 1985 when Richard Bass, a businessman who achieved the seven summits. Rob Hall and Scott Fisher were forerunners of these institutions, each one in its style. The concept is simple: after a large payment of 65 000$, these expeditions guarantee an ascent to Everest, and a safe return to base camp.

If you have seen the trailers, you can easily imagine that nothing is going to go as planned…

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GO SEE EVEREST

One of the main reasons to watch Everest it is the opportunity to see magnificent nature. In general I like the “beautiful” movies, but this one was incredible. Thanks to the 3D (even if I had to adjust to it) I really felt like taking part in the expedition.It really gave me chills!
The other reason why I would recommend you to go see this why is that it allows us to realise a very important thing – our luck to be alive. I know that it is a bit easy, to say it like that, but I was deeply troubled by this movie. And I still can’t make up my mind about why people would do something like that just for a mountain (yes, I know I am a bit harsh). People go through that much pain because of passion, of surpassing oneself.
Finally, a sufficient reason to go to the cinema is the great cast: Jason Clarke in the role of Rob Hall, Jake Gyllenhaal representing Scott Fisher or also Keira Knightley as Jan Hall, Rob Hall’s wife.

REASONS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T WATCH EVEREST

If you are looking for a nice movie, that will boost you up for the whole week, turn around. I found this film very moving, and quite disturbing. I must confess that I had a little trouble to sleep that night. I felt guilty, in my warm bed, thinking of all these people alone upthere.
I have a hard time deciding what is the moral of the movie. On one hand the movie shows that everything is possible but on the other hand it shows that endagering one’s life to this extend is reckless. That’s why, if you are aiming to climb up Everest, or any summit above 8000m, I would advise you not to see the movie. Well, at least I recommend you to see it once you did it.

!!! Watch out for spoilers !!!

WHAT ABOUT IT TODAY

I am not sure I should say it, but let’s get it over with. In the movie, unfortunately for everyone, 8 people die, among whom two people that we really got to like: Rob Hall and Scott Fisher, guides that were used to high altitudes. I was indeed surprised to see these them die. We are so used to happy-endings in Hollywook movies that I really hoped for Hall to survive, especially that it is a true story.
After seeing the movie, the first thing I wanted to do, it to know how are things going on today on Everest. If you, like me, thought that after such a disaster things must have changed, then you’re wrong. Commercial expeditions are still ascending on Everest as as strange as it may seem, Mountain Madness, the company founded by Scott Fisher still exists.
It seems like the movie calls into question these practices, considered dangerous: too many people on the mountain, the willingness to satisfy the client and the difficult decision-making made because of competition. In 1996, when the story takes place, commercial expeditions were numerous and hundreds of people were getting ready to climb-up Everest. Today it is even worse. I strongly invite you to read the article written by Ralf Dujmovits, a German mountaineer that considers that Everest almost became a mass tourism area. He speaks about a real “crowd” on Everest. According to these statements, all the magic and the beauty of such an ascent is lost when it is shared with 600 other climbers. If you are interested, read Jon Krakauer’s book – Into thin air who was a member of Rob Hall’s team in May, 1996. I have not read the book yet but I can assure you that I will very soon! If you want to learn more such an exciting subject do not hesitate to read the articles and documentaries below.
My Everest review is finished, I hope you enjoyed it and that you’ll stay in touch for more !

INTERESTING LINKS

  1. Mountain Without Mercy written by Jeffrey Kluger for the Time Magazine in 2001 – that rettraces the 1996 tragedy from the point of view of David Breashears’ and Ed Viesturs’ (filmmakers that were on sight at that time).
  2. Because it is there: commercialising Mount Everest from The Conversation on the 30th may 2013. The article takes a stand about commercial expeditions.
  3. The Call of Everest – National Geographic Live (documentary)
  4. Storm over Everest – A movie by David Breashers

MORE INFO

Title: Everest
Date of premiere: 9th September 2015
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Genre: Aventure
Length: 2h01
Trailer: English