Rob Hall (Jason Clarke) is a gifted mountaineer who reached the top of Everest several times. In 1992, the talented climber decided to launch a high-altitude guiding business. By 1996, Rob managed to bring thirty-nine amateurs on the summit of the Mount Everest. However, this year was tragically marked by a horrible disaster. Everest tells the story of Hall’s last adventure.
Everest, directed by Baltasar Kormákur, wonderfully shows this irrational human needs to realise the impossible. The film is captivating from the start as Kormákur does not waste time on secondary story lines. Viewers are immediately immersed in the story. They passively participate in this extraordinary exploit. This delusional immersion is drastically helped by the poor cinematography of Everest. Indeed, the film is far from being aesthetically glamorised. Everest‘s imagery is raw, which makes the film look realistic. Viewers are therefore urged to forget the screen to exclusively focus on the long and risky ascension.
Everest is also a film about personal quest and challenge. Climbers in the film are clearly driven by the same purpose. They all want to prove their worth to themselves and others. Climbing the highest mountain on Earth is a way for them to justify their existence and flee their bland daily routine. To feel alive, they have to dangerously defy death. It is quite regrettable that the film superficially tackles the climbers’ motivations.
The film subtly denounces the commercialisation of mountain climbing. Everest is excellent at showing how unprepared the amateur climbers were, and how irresponsible the professional ones could be. It is quite scary to see the last ones thinking in terms of profits instead of safety. Their only objective consists in bringing their clients on the top of Everest no matter what. The disaster is, therefore, due to a multitude of poor decisions dictated by the desire to satisfy the clients.Hopefully this film will show that climbing the Mount Everest is not a game. Only experienced and professional climbers should be allowed to climb it.
In brief, Everest is a fascinating film which easily engages viewers by realistically depicting the Everest ascension, and by showing the dangers of commercial mountain climbing.