Movie Review of Everest: Never let Go! Thrilling and Suspenseful!


I just came from watching Everest and let me tell you it was mental! It is one of those movies that you don’t want to watch because you know the story but at the same time, you can’t stop your curiosity –and even after its finished, you can’t satiate it because you want to know more about the Mountain and why so many people will risk their lives for it. But that is the beauty –and tragedy of it. Everest is a metaphor. More than a physical challenge, it is a spiritual challenge where you are pushing yourself to go to the limits, believing that once you head to the top as Doug Hansen “the mailman” says to Rob and Beck, people (in this case, his kids) will think it’s possible to do anything.
It’s conquering your own self, testing yourself against the limits. But ultimately as another one of the ill-fated says, the mountain has the last words.

There were so many moments at the end where I want it to cry –and I hate crying, I am not a crying person. The part where Rob **spoilers** calls his wife for the penultimate time, and she is just there helpless to stop what she knows in her heart is coming but she can’t come to grips with it (yet); and Rob crying out of fear, sadness (that two people have died on his watch and he too was powerless to stop it), hurt and finally resignation and telling his wife that he loves her, calling her sweet words like “my love” like reminding her to call their unborn child “Sarah”. And then the final call where one of the South-African climbers (from another team) tells Jan (Rob’s wife) that they can’t come for him until the next morning –by which then, he will be dead- and she calls him again and he is absolutely devastated and yet he keeps part of his composure and tells his wife one last time that he loves her. That was absolutely heartbreaking.

Jason Clarke’s performance as the magazine ‘Outside’ said in an interview with the rest of the cast and crew, does have that ‘gravitas’ to him that makes this even harder to watch. And Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhal are not that far behind. It is amazing all the number of actors and actresses that were in this movie, and not feel the same terror and sadness as the people they played felt when they were hit by this tragedy. Jake Gyllenhaal who plays another expert climber (Scott) was amazing, and you can feel his doubt veiled behind that arrogant smile, that he will make it. You want him to get out, you want him to make it; you don’t want to believe that he will die (even though you know the story) and when he falls, when he looks resigned; you as a viewer can’t come to grips with what is happening and as he, you must resign yourself to his ultimate fate.

Scott, Rob, Beck opposite the actors who play them (Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin).
Scott, Rob, Beck opposite the actors who play them (Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke and Josh Brolin).

The only one who makes it out alive of the main three is Beck (Josh Brolin). Beck is enthusiastic, he is a proud Texan who wants to make it to the top. He doesn’t because it becomes too much for him and when they are all stranded up there, he miraculously survives and again, this is why Everest triumphs as a movie because it also shows a triumph of the human spirit to push yourself to the limits and defy all odds. The odds were stacked against Beck but he didn’t let go; as he opens his eyes he imagines seeing his wife and his kids and those three images give him the strength he needs to get up and rejoin the others.
But greatness has a price. Nothing in life is for free, and the price they paid to get to the top, was very high. At the end the movie shows the real people behind the victims, and the real photo of Adventure Consultants from that expedition, as well as what happened to Beck (hands and nose amputated).

The movie plays like a bittersweet symphony, it is a tale of survival, love, tragedy, and conquering one’s self against everything; and without a doubt one of the best flicks I’ve seen this year. A thrilling and suspenseful ride! Go see it.

The real team of Adventure Consultants led by Rob Hall. (May 1996)
The real team of Adventure Consultants led by Rob Hall. (May 1996)

Out of the people who died besides Scott Fisher and Rob Hall were: Andrew Harris, Dorje Moup, Yasuko Namba, Tsweang Paijor, Tsewang Samanla, Reinhard Wlasich.

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