I woke up in the middle of the night. Cold and out of breath. For a moment I was back in a tent on high altitude. The movie ‘Everest’ had brought back memories to life. I cried when they reached the summit, knowing exactly what it’s like.
But the movie never reached the depths it could have. As usual in Hollywood movies more effort is put into enlarging upsetting dramas, pointing out good and evil. After all, it is just ”inspired” by the real events of the 1996 disaster. (They say several times Everest is the most dangerous place on earth. K2 is more dangerous. And how about the deep seas or Syria – aren’t those places more dangerous?). It also says Everest is ”something beyond the power of words to describe”. I agree on that. You will never be even close to understand what it is like to be in thin air, that high and far away.
As they talked about the ”why” do you want to climb Everest, the Japanese woman was cut off while explaining, and they used another version as well as making jokes about the first famous answer ”because it’s there”. The producer says he thinks the reason why is because on Everest we’re stripped of everything we own, we’re there to survive and we meet ourselves as we are at our very core of our being. It’s a different experience. I think it’s about meeting nature and meeting Everest as well as living in another, more simple world for a bit. That is my romanticized view. The male macho version always seems to be more about conquering and winning over the mountain as some kind of opponent, often forgetting the summit is only half way. Then they get so caught up in it, it takes over their lives. All they want to do when they get back to ”normal” life, is to escape back up another mountain. Well portrayed in the movie.
I missed the Sherpas viewpoint and don’t think they got enough coverage.
It’s incredible how they managed to make so much look real in a studio, as well as finding places looking like Everest in the alps. But then there was something with the snow, the light and the sound that is not quite right. They also changed a lot of technical details that made it less believable, such as not wearing sunglasses at high altitude (because you have to see the actors faces) or forgetting to put on gloves. It would not happen in real Everest.
The deaths looked real. The view of the dead bodies on Everest has never left my mind. I’ve seen them in hallucinations on other mountains, and in dreams. I’m used to them by now. It took about two years for me to mentally descend from mount Everest. So I’m glad I didn’t see the movie before then. If I can recommend it? Yes! Both in real life and on the cinema. The effects with 3D glasses was well worth it.