Everest - The Movie

Everest The Movie
Earlier this week five lucky Mountain Training Association members attended the IMAX preview of Universal's new film, Everest, in London. The film is based on the true story of a storm on the mountain in 1996 which ended in eight fatalities. The story has already been told in two contrasting accounts by two of those who were present that day; Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air, and Anatoli Boukreev, The Climb. The film will be in cinemas, in 3D and IMAX 3D on 18th September.

Here's what our reviewers thought...

Well, to start with, it was shown at the BFI IMAX in London which is awesome. The screen is HUGE and the sound is LOUD! The first 5mins literally blows you away… Then it draws back to the very beginning of when the team met and start their trek from Kathmandu, flying in to Lukla. For me, having been to the area numerous times and knowing people out there, it was lovely to see and the cinematography was outstanding.

Most people I know are fully aware of the story so it’s hard to spoil the plot. What I will say is that I felt it was a fair representation of all I’d read and made up my own opinions on. My heart was literally in my mouth at certain points and it really did take my breath away. Obviously there is some Hollywood spin but not so much that it spoiled my view of what I hoped it to be. Others' opinions will differ, no doubt, but it’s forged my desires to get back to Nepal later in the Autumn and who knows….take on Everest one day.

The only negative comment is that marketing suggests Everest is the most dangerous place on earth. They obviously haven’t been to the Prince of Wales pub on Llanberis High Street!! That said, and joking aside, that’s a bold statement considering mountains like K2.

Jason Rawles
JR Mountaineering

The story of the 1996 Everest disaster is well documented therefore the director and producer will have many critics if they don’t get it correct in most details. The big screen at the IMAX in 3D brought the whole mountain atmosphere to life giving both mountaineers and non-mountaineers a feeling of the vastness of the Everest area. Some very clever camera angles and shooting added to this effect.

The casting of all of the characters in the film was excellent making one believe in them as mountaineers of various abilities. I felt the whole subject of the disaster was handled with great sensitivity bearing in mind that the survivors and the families of those who lost their lives during the tragic events are still alive.

It was a very thought provoking film about the events of May 10th-11th 1996 on Everest, which all aspiring mountaineers with big bank balances and even bigger egos should see before they pressurise their guides to let them keep going when best advice is to retreat.

As a mountaineer having climbed at altitudes of around 5,000m I was fully immersed into what was happening on the mountain and the difficulties involved. I believe non-mountaineers will have gained an appreciation of how difficult and dangerous high altitude mountaineering can be.

In conclusion it was a very enjoyable evening’s viewing and left me deep in thought for the rest of the night.

Alvyn Bysouth

After reading Graham Ratcliffe’s A Day to Die For whilst myself trekking in the Himalaya I was intrigued to see if Hollywood could tell and be true to the story of the tragedy that unfolded on the 10th and 11th May 1996.

Based on true life events on the infamous mountain nearly twenty years ago, Everest is an intense, immensely claustrophobic and visually epic film which assaults all your senses from the sense of altitude sickness (watch it on an IMAX screen) during the key moments as the disaster unfolds to the bombastic SFX which capture nature unleashing hell on climbers below.

The film perhaps is more moving given recent events in Nepal, as well as heralding the start of a new slate of mountain based films including the widely reported Mallory biopic
High Places.

If you want to truly understand what happened I would suggest reading one of the many books that have been published since. However, for all those that want to experience and appreciate why "human beings simply aren't built to function at the cruising altitude of a 747", it is a must see.

Marrying the harsh but beautiful nature of the mountain that intoxicates so many with a deftly executed narrative was made all the more poignant knowing that the events were real. This is most definitely an emotional roller coaster that will have you wanting to find out more.

Jonathan Hitchinson
Blue Sky Expeditions Ltd

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