By Kate “One Take Kate” Taylor
Whoa. This is an intense film that’s for sure. I think initially you’d imagine that Everest is positioned as a kind of Cliffhanger type of action film, all glitz and big stunts and explosions…wait no explosions perhaps but still may be marketed as a different kind of film than it is. I feel like Everest is a slow burn thriller that has smatterings of documentary climbing and Everest fact. Nothing too heavy going, just enough to aid the severity of what is occurring before you onscreen. Perhaps most of all on watching it, all I could think was how did you film this?!
This wondering about the filming logistics wasn’t enough to disturb or take me out of the experience of Everest. Guaranteed is that the cinematography is so breath-taking that the realism that’s been achieved in Everest is incredible. Undoubtedly a trip to Everest Base Camp and subsequent filming would have taken place, but the line between what’s real, what’s studio shot and what’s CG is pretty indistinguishable. So when you see Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) in the Everest trailer with his shirt off and you think pfft, sheea, it’s actually quite likely that he’s sat at Base Camp in Nepal freezing for realism.
|“Yo bra, pour me another cup of Anti-freeze? Geddit, Anti-freeze – pfft…whatever man“. Jake Gyllenhaal settles in at Everest Base Camp. Image via|
Everest covers so respectfully I think just how easily a small set of events in a very precarious environment can cause such profound loss. It’s easy to say, well they chose to pursue this dangerous pastime; and let me tell you I won’t be rushing off to train up to summit Everest myself oh no no this may have been an inspiring film for me but most certainly NOT in that way! Based on interview accounts and books written by Beck Weathers, Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men) plays him and John Krakauer, Michael Kelly (Chronicle) plays him; Everest delicately portrays the ensemble of people who were present for Rob Hall’s expedition.
|“One of these things is not like the others, one of these things…” Josh Brolin does a great job as the not always likable Beck Weathers while Michael Kelly looks the part as 90s Outside Magazine journo John Krakauer. Image via IMDb|
So, I’m not racing off to buy climbing gear but I was inspired by Rob Hall’s story in that such an entrepreneurial, motivating and caring individual set his mind to his passions and despite what is a sad legacy, it’s a legacy nonetheless that should encourage people to pursue your crazy idea, back yourself and have a go…I mean sheesh, if Rob Hall can summit Everest five times it makes you feel you can do just about anything too. Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys) delivers a very caring and considered performance I thought and will most likely, be lurking around in a penguin suit come Oscar season off the back of this emotional role.
|Can you hear me now?! Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) makes a casual call from Everest Base Camp to back home in Kiwiland…man his roaming and data package must be pretty sweet! Image via|
Now, can we talk about international stars portraying a Kiwi accent? Sam Worthington (Avatar) playing Guy Cotter (current CEO of Adventure Consultants), he doesn’t have to stretch himself too far to provide a believable Kiwi accent. Martin Henderson (The Ring) as Andy Harris, no stretch at all, he’s just having a casual chat delivering his lines in a lovely Kiwi drawl. But I did distinctly hear some sniggers in the screening that I was at when Emily Watson (Red Dragon), Elizabeth Debicki (Man from U.N.C.L.E.) and most of all Keira Knightley (who plays Jan Hall, Rob’s wife) had a hoon on the Kiwi accent in their respective roles. Honestly, I think they did well! It’s a hard accent to do and ask any linguistics lecturer, us Kiwis lurve to mangle our words, have nonsensical slang and mumble all of these out of our barely opened mouths. So if these fine actresses classed us up a bit, I think that’s permissible for this big budget and big action biopic.
|Controversial Keira…does she mangle the Kiwi accent or not? See Everest and you decide.
Image via IMDb
Some sneaky product placements spotted: Gatorade, The North Face, Marmot, Helly Hansen, to name a few.
Overall Everest takes us through the harrowing events of 1996 and brings a very realistic, moving look at the impact this has had on the people concerned. Everest does a great job of staging you through the areas and landmarks of Everest Base Camp early on so that when the action really kicks off you’re not as a viewer snow-blind to who’s where and what’s just happened; with a few subtle nuances of climbing culture turfed in along the way, so you’re in the know for certain important aspects that crop up.
|Top: Rob Hall, Bottom: Jason Clarke. Images via and|
Experiencing this film and the stunning filming locations of Nepal, Italy and the UK in expansive IMAX quality, certainly made a big difference, with every crevice and cliff face feeling that much more impactful and death inducing. So there’s thrills and spills that definitely bring the action, but the heart of this film is what’s at stake personally for each individual, what steps have brought them to this event and how does that in turn effect the way their behaviour and attitude attributed to the events themselves. It’s a pretty gut-wrenching watch but what a fantastic ride!
Where were you during the 1996 Everest incident? What do you remember about it? Lemme me know below or on any of the social media buttons on the right.