Posted by: greercn | September 23, 2015

Everest

It just fails to climb to the highest heights of emotion. This is a shame, as bits of it are very beautiful and make you want to go climbing.

I once had a conversation with a friend who asked if I wanted to climb Everest. This seemed a tad ambitious, as we were walking up Mount Royal in Montreal. And you should know that climbing Mount Royal is inadequate preparation for climbing in the Alps or the Rockies, let alone the world’s tallest peak. (At least, above sea level).

After a bit of thought, I said I’d like to be able to say I’d climbed Everest, because it’s an impressive achievement. But I was and am certain that I am attached to life, my fingers, my toes and my nose and one of these might disappear if I aimed that high.

In “Everest”, a bunch of climbers pay more than $60,000 US to get escorted up to the top. It’s 1996. Any climber knows a few didn’t make it home.

So, it should be touching. Early scenes, set in the United States and Nepal, grip the viewer.

The cinema at Stratford East Picturehouse was very cold, so we huddled into our coats. Okay, it wasn’t THAT cold, but we weren’t warm.

The big sudden storm that comes out of nowhere should keep you on the edge of your seat. But the movie is two hours long and that storm just goes on and on, coming and going.

Of course, you want to know who makes it and who doesn’t. There is a cast of stars and unknowns who all look good as they are climbing. And the last 10 minutes of the movie tugs at your heart.

And yet, the main message you’re left with is that climbing Everest is a very dangerous thing to do. And I knew that, all those years ago, climbing Mount Royal.

Good music and stunning photography give this tale depth and emotion. But with too much crammed in here, you only focus on the characters for a few minutes, before you’re whisked away to another part of the mountain.

For me, watching this felt (mostly) like an uphill climb. It’s better to talk about having done it than to actually do it.

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