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Brophy Roundup

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‘Everest’ entrances with suspenseful, poignant storytelling

“Everest”—starring Jason Clarke, Michael Kelly, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes
9 out of 10

By Cameron M. Bray ’16

“Everest” is chilling film.

I mean to say that the film is often so suspenseful that it’s discomforting to watch, which strangely, is what I enjoyed about it.

It has that same kind of wonderful edge to it that “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” had when Tom Cruise climbed the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, in Dubai.

Throughout the film, you feel the nagging, inescapable sense of danger that surrounds the characters.

You know some disaster is coming, you just don’t know when, putting you in that indescribable discomfort that keeps you watching a film such as this.

The disaster, in this case, is the 1996 Everest avalanche, a tragedy in which eight people died trying to reach the summit—spoiler alert.

The film is based off the book “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, one of the survivors of this tragedy, and it even stars him as a character, though he’s played by the actor Michael Kelly.

The story basically goes like this:

In March 1996 several commercial expeditions prepare for a climb to the summit of Mt. Everest.

They attempt the dangerous trek in May, but a late blizzard hits, resulting in disaster as they reach the highest points of the mountain.

The film stars about 20 to 30 characters, but the main people the film focuses on are as follows: Rob Hall, played Jason Clarke, the leader of the Everest-climbing business “Adventure Consultants”; Beck Weathers, played by Josh Brolin, a Texan and an experienced mountaineer; Doug Hansen, played by John Hawkes, a former mailman pursuing his dream of climbing the mountain; Yasuko Namba, played by Naoko Mori, another veteran climber who dreams of completing the last of the Seven Summits; Scott Fisher, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, another Everest guide; and Jon Krakauer.

Though the film initially struggles with introducing the characters and connecting them with the audience, it eventually gets you so attached that you don’t want to see some of them go.

Like the recent sci-fi blockbuster “The Martian,” “Everest” is a master at using the classic man-versus-nature trope, and the human drama really comes when we see the characters interacting with one another and struggling against the mountain’s many dangers: among them, powerful winds, precarious heights, unimaginable chills and perilously low air pressures.

Not only do these factors help foster a vibrant human drama by evoking empathy for the characters’ unfortunate suffering, but they also help raise the suspense to marvelously high levels.

In other words, while this film is both entrancing and bewitching to watch. It makes you think and feel as well, which is what a good piece of art should do.
You should definitely see this film.
It’s a joy to watch throughout, though I’m not sure joy is the right word to describe the feeling of suspense and emotion I felt while.

For its suspenseful plot and poignant storytelling, “Everest” gets a 9 out of 10.

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