Today’s review is the opening film of this years Venezia72 Film Festival. Day one of the festival has begun and first up is the epic drama Everest.
Each cast member including Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Emily Watson, John Hawkes and my mate Josh Brolin (more about that in later article) shown up to watch with us. After all, it was the world exclusive premiere.
So did the movie live up to the weight of being this year’s opening film? Well read on and I’ll tell you!
Everest is based on the real events of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster which led to the misfortunate events of several climbers.
Producer Tim Bevan and Director Baltasar Kormakur piece together for the first time a film about this tragic event. This film serves as a story to tell the world about the bravery and the friendship of a group of people – no matter what is thrown at them.
The film has a strong emotional connection all the way through it and from scene one, if you don't know the story; you get the feeling that it isn’t a cheerful blockbuster.
Jason Clarke plays Rob Hall, the group’s leader; who has a wife (Keira Knightly) back home ready to give birth to their daughter. Jake Gyllenhaal plays another expedition leader, Scott Fischer, who joins forces with Rob Hall to reach the summit. Supporting cast from Josh Brolin (Beck Weathers), Emily Watson (Helen Wilton), John Hawkes (Doug Hansen) and Sam Worthington (Guy Cotter) made up the pack.
The acting involved in this two-hour epic is incredible. The cast have difficult tasks portraying their characters as the 'characters' are real people. The families of the group were thrilled with the end result and to my mind, it was fully believable too. Jake Gyllenhaal told me today that director Kormakur wanted to get the real experience from Everest so he imported freezing cold snow to chuck at their faces while they acted to get the real effect. That’s dedication!
Baltasar directed this film beautifully. The panoramic shots of the mountain, the icy winds sweeping the camps and the shaking shots when danger loomed were smartly put together. Kormakur delivers a smooth film but with deeper messages running throughout.
The whole story is touching for a variety of reasons. The emotional scenes including Jason Clarke and Keira Knightly are tear-jerkingly sad. The scenes with Beck Weathers’ family near the climax are also heart-wrenching. This tale is also a metaphor for much more too. Yes a re-telling of tragic events but also a look at what lengths people will go to achieve a dream. The real-life people were asked “why” they were going up to the summit and none of them could give a straight answer. It is just embedded in some people who are dare devils, and others who are simply running away from problems. There is only one thing you should be running to though – and that is the cinema for when this is released.
Cineroom's Rating: 4 Stars
Everest will be released in just over two weeks time in the UK (September 18th 2015). Certificate 12A.