I’m not a big fan of watching movies in 3D, the glasses are always uncomfortable to wear, the screen is completely blurry when I take them off for a few seconds to ease the discomfort, and frankly, I don’t see the need to feel as though the characters are pointing in my face or splashing water at me. Nevertheless, I have to say, you must see Everest in IMAX 3D!
Sitting in the ice-cold Santikos Palladium IMAX Theater, I watched the story of two expedition groups that left the final camp at 2 a.m. on May 10, 1996 to summit Mount Everest and the tragedy that occurred through a series of human and natural disasters. If I had to find something wrong with the movie, it was that keeping track of the characters was difficult since, for the majority of the film, they were bundled-up in climbing gear and thus looked alike. Therefore, the three characters I focused on were the two guides, Scott Fischer (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), Rob Hall, (played by Jason Clarke), and Dr. Beck Weathers, (played by Josh Brolin). All of the actors gave great performances.
Apparently there is only a short window of time within anyone should even attempt climbing the mountain, so several expeditions were gathered to make this climb. On the night before they leave the base camp, the characters discuss their motives for making this seemingly insane journey. They are asked why they want to climb Everest and the common answers were, “because I can” and “because it is there.” Each one had a personal reason too. One wanted to be an inspiration to a group of students that made a flag for him to place at the top. He said that he wanted kids to see that if a common person such as himself could realize this goal, then they can do anything they put their minds to. Beck said that when he climbs he feels free of the depression that is like a black cloud looming over him back home. Though their goal is the same, each climber’s story is unique and touching, which makes the outcome of the story even more tragic. They discuss the competition among the hikers and one of the guys says that it may be competition between people, but “the last word belongs to the mountain.” That night, Hall and Fischer decided to merge their groups together to make the final ascent because they believe that their groups are the best and better equipped to get to the top.
I found myself saying, “are they crazy?” aloud a few times and I don’t think my neighbors were upset with me because, more than likely, they were thinking the same thing! It is hard to believe that the climbers get across the Khumbu Ice Fall by climbing a very flimsy looking, man-made bridge, which they refer to as a “Hillary step”. The Hillary step consists of several aluminum painters’ ladders tied together! This seemed oddly primitive for the 20th century! As Beck (Brolin’s character) walks across the ladders, he mistakenly looks down and the viewer sees what he sees and gets the same feeling in the pit of their stomach, as he must have had. It’s a black hole! I’m getting nauseous just thinking about it now, as I write! I felt terror as he slipped off. Imparting these feelings on the audience can only be accomplished by crafty cinematography by director Baltasar Kormákur, which made full use of three-dimensional effects, a brilliant screenplay by writers William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, and the extremely cold room temperature of the IMAX Theater. These elements effectively made the viewer feel as if they were slipping, the avalanche was coming at them, and the snow was falling right in front of them. Click here to get a taste of this experience. http://www.everestmovie.com/experience/khumbuicefall
I do not have an urge to climb Everest, or any other mountain for that matter, and seeing this movie ensures that I will not change my mind, even if I become physically fit to do so! However, I do have an open mind, so I can imagine the rush and the feeling of accomplishment that one must derive when they achieve the conquest of a summit. “Everest” has the audience on the edge of their seats. It is as gripping and suspenseful as a horror film, only instead of there being a murderer, such as Freddy Krueger, the mountain is the antagonist. My heart was pounding from the anxiety and it took a long time after the movie for the adrenaline to wear off! Although the outcome of the story is no secret, I don’t want to spoil the suspenseful moments in the movie, so I will conclude with some advice. If you plan to go to the movies this weekend, get your tickets for “Everest” now. If you weren’t planning on going to the movies, put it on your agenda! – BMT
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