Everest (2015) – Review

Read Time:4 Minute, 44 Second

Everest is the top of the world, people said, and this star-studded docudrama attempts to unravel the other side of the highest mountain on Earth with a based-on-a-true-event tragedy of men against nature.

People desired to lay one’s feet on Everest—8848 masl, the same height as Boeing 747 altitude, and, history has recorded it: 1996 is a tragedy for Everest. Thin air makes it hard to breathe, low temperature numbs the limbs, and steep tracks awaits.

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke)—5-times conquering Everest—guided a group of clients to the top of the world. Along his group is Scott Fischer’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) and other expeditions lining up in South Col with total 33 people. Preparation took more than a month, but nature had a different agenda—a true storm’s coming while they’re on top. The question is: how would they manage to survive? 

Everest is a dramatic reconstruction of the tragedy happened in 1996. It starts slow in sneak-and-peeking the dearest mountain; it takes time to build the tension—to show how preparation is needed to conquer the mountain. From the beginning, it tries to convince us how mesmerizing yet dangerous Everest is—how little us compared to the nature. Yet, it pays every waits with an intense trains of events—exposing the danger and the survival.

The thrill is real—and we can feel it hiding behind the magnificent landscape of Everest. The filmmaker successfully convicts us that there’s no way man can really conquer nature. Yet, that’s the problem.

Everest takes all the interest to build the mountain and takes less to build the characters. I don’t know, whether they’re avoiding controversy or doing it due to the respect of the departed, but characterization in Everest is in a complete opposite to the height of the mountain. Jason Clarke shows a stellar performance and so does the others, but they’re all one-dimensional character.

There’s backstory to some of the characters—like Rob and Jan (Knightley), or Beck (Brolin) and his family, but in the end, it doesn’t mean much—’cause we’re not interconnected to that. It felt like all of those are only gimmick to slow down the tragedy.

One more thing, Everest seems to neglect the fact that there are human errors involved in the making of this tragedy; and there’s a strong criticism towards commercialization of Everest. The movie flanks a little, but not enough to assure us that they do.

We sympathize to the characters almost along the tragedy—during the survival or the aftermath, but that’s more mountain-fueled rather than character-fueled, and that’s kinda disappointing.

The best thing of Everest is: it does it big—the size of the mountains—all in the action and cinematography (with frequent adjustment to the scoring). The film manages to present the might of the Sagarmatha, Everest, as the highest mountain and a “killing zone”, but it doesn’t really bring Rob Hall and comrade’s true passion.

In the end, there’s sympathy to Rob and comrades, but is overshadowed by the Everest itself.

Everest (2015)

Drama, Adventure, Thriller Directed by: Baltasar Kormákur Written by: Simon Beaufoy, William Nicholson Starred by: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, John Hawkes Runtime: 121 mins Rated PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images

IMDb | Official Site

Everest adalah puncak dunia, kata orang, namun dokudrama bertabur bintang ini justru mencoba mengungkap sisi lain sang gunung tertinggi dengan sebuah tragedi yang berdasarkan kisah nyata.

Orang-orang berlomba-lomba menaiki puncak Everest—8840 mdpl, setinggi jalur terbang Boeing 747. Melebihi 8000 meter adalah death zone, di mana oksigen terlalu tipis untuk dihirup, suhu yang dingin pun sering menyebabkan frostbite bahkan mountain madness. Di sanalah tragedi besar yang menewaskan 8 pendaki terjadi tahun 1996.

Rob Hall (Jason Clarke)—penakluk puncak Everest 5 kali—memandu kliennya untuk mencapai puncak. Bersamaan dengan kelompoknya, kelompok lain yang dipandu oleh Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal) juga naik.Belum lagi beberapa ekspedisi lain memadati South Col hingga berjumlah 33 orang di jalur mematikan ini.

Persiapan berlangsung lebih dari satu bulan; namun alam punya agenda lain—badai besar telah menanti di puncak, tanpa bisa diprediksi.

Sebagai rekonstruksi dramatis, Everest memulai perjalanannya dengan cukup pelan. Perlu waktu untuk membangun tensinya—untuk meyakinkan penonton betapa menakjubkan sekaligus berbahayanya sang gunung. Hasilnya cukup mengesankan—dengan deretan adegan aksi yang rapat dan intens.

Thriller-nya nyata—kita bisa merasakannya di balik kemegahan lansekap Everest. Kormakur sebagai sutradara berhasil meyakinkan penonton bahwa alam tak bisa ditaklukan dengan perpaduan CGI dan in-location shots. Namun, justru itulah permasalahannya.

Everest menaruh terlalu banyak perhatian pada “gunung”nya, bukan pada karakternya. Entah karena menghindari kontroversi atau menghormati mendiang korbannya, karakterisasi di Everest sangat dangkal jika dibanding tingginya sang gunung. Penampilan Jason Clarke dkk memang meyakinkan,tapi hanya sebagai karakter yang one-dimensional.

Ada beberapa backstory untuk beberapa karakter—seperti kisah Rob dan Jan (Knightley) atau kisah Beck (Brolin) dan keluarga, namun, tak ada emosi yang benar-benar terpancar dari kisah itu. Hanya sedikit gimmick untuk memelankan tragedinya.

Sayangnya, Everest seolah melupakan fakta bahwa ada human error dalam tragedi ini, dan lebih utamanya, ada kritik yang tajam untuk komersialisasi Everest—yang tak nampak karena tertutup gunung.

Hal terbaik dalam Everest adalah: it goes big—baik dalam ukuran gunungnya maupun sinematografinya yang bersinergi maksimal dengan efek suara yang dahsyat. Film ini berhasil menampilkan kebesaran Everest sebagai killing zone dan wonder, tapi tak mampu menampilkan persona Rob Hall dkk.

Pada akhirnya, kita tetap bersimpati pada Rob dkk, namun tak terlalu nampak karena sang gunung tertinggi.

This Everest review is written by Paskalis Damar. Review Everest (2015) ini diterjemahkan dalam Bahasa Indonesia oleh Paskalis Damar.

2 responses

  1. Great review! We saw this a week or so ago – it was an exciting watch but I think IMAX greatly contributed to that, I don’t think it would be nearly as good at home when the DVD is out.
    – Allie

    1. The same thing happened to Gravity, right? Only Gravity has perks towards characterization. Thanks for stopping by, Allie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!