Everest (2015) Parent Review
The imporatnat and worthwhile messages that distill out of this harrowing experience are those of sacrifice, teamwork, persistence and the importance of careful planning.
It wasn’t many years ago that climbing Mount Everest was a rare activity that only professionals would dare to approach. But since the first officially recorded summiting by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, a commercial enterprise has erupted. About the mid-1980s, tour groups began leading hundreds of people in the attempted to climb to the peek—with many succeeding. However the sad reality is that a significant number never return to tell their tales, as evidenced by the large number of corpses littering the popular routes to the top.
1996 was a particularly bad year in which 12 deaths were recorded on Everest. Of those, eight people perished during one blizzard. And it is this tragedy that forms the plot of this movie which, ultimately, examines the business of armature climbing and whether or not some of the clients are experienced enough to make the ascent.
Rob Hall (Jason Clarke), founder of Adventure Consultants, and Scott Fischer (Jake Gyllenhaal), who owns Mountain Madness, are both early entrepreneurs attracting the masses to Everest. In the spring of 1996 they each bring clients to the base of the world’s highest mountain and start preparations for the big climb. One of the participants is noted journalist Jon Krakauer (Michael Kelly), from Outside magazine, a publication known throughout the climbing community. Krakauer had originally agreed to climb with Fisher’s team and write a story about the event. That decision changed after Hall offered to subsidize his trip costs and worked a deal to exchange advertising space for access to the story. Needless to say Krakauer’s change of loyalty creates some friction between the two competitors before the expedition even begins.
The large group of over 30 climbers makes their way to Camp IV, the final stopping point prior to the summit, despite increasingly difficult winds. Early the next morning the weather clears and Hall declares it safe to proceed. Working their way up the difficult slope it becomes evident to Hall that safety would be better served if he and Fischer join forces and work as a team. Reluctantly Fischer agrees. However as they near the peak they discover that, for some unknown reason, the fixed ropes that provide additional support for inexperienced climbers, have not been set. Precious time is spent placing the ropes, only to have the group discover, yet again, that ropes have not been placed at the Hillary Step, the final accent to the top.
When the first climber, Mountain Madness guide Anatoli Bourkreev (Ingvar Sigurdsson) reaches the summit shortly after 1 PM, it was evident the large group may be in serious danger. To have enough time to return to the camp, the participants must reach and leaving the peak by 2 PM – yet many don’t arrive until long after. Making matters worse, a severe storm is quickly moving toward them. Staying to assist his paying customer achieve their goal, Hall doesn’t depart the mountaintop until 3 PM, only to find yet another client, Doug Hansen, just above the Hillary Step. Despite admonishing him to abandon the quest, Hansen begs to complete the journey.And Hall agrees to accompany him. It’s a decision that will cost both their lives.
Anyone familiar with the actual events of this disaster will know not to expect a happy ending. Characters are seen in frequent peril and the elaborate makeup convinces us of the severity of frostbite and abrasive ice pellets on exposed flesh. These issues may make this film unsuitable for children. However, for teens and adults, the movie is surprisingly devoid of profanities. Perhaps the greatest content concern will be the frequent boozing indulged in at the initial base camp while adventurers wait to have their bodies adjust to the high altitude.
The creators of this dramatization avoid obvious judgments of whether mountain climbing is worth risking your life over. Certainly audiences will leave with their own opinions in this area. Still, the messages that do distil out of this harrowing experience are worthwhile examples of sacrifice, teamwork, persistence and the importance of careful planning. In addition, the performances from many of these actors are award worthy and the special effects are invisible to viewer’s eye. Obviously the production crew didn’t ascend Everest, but as you engage in this literal cliffhanger, you’ll feel like you did.Directed by Baltasar Kormákur. Starring Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin.. Running time: 150 minutes. Theatrical release September 18, 2015. Updated May 12, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Everest (2015) here.
Everest (2015) Parents Guide
The first know summit of Everest was accomplished in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. After that, a handful of other professionals attempted to reach the top, but the success rate was low and the fatality rate was very high. It wasn’t until 1992, when experienced climbers began offering guided tours to armatures wanting to scale the peak that the commercialization of Everest began. How do you feel about this money-making endeavor? Do you think the bragging rights make this journey worth the risk? Do you want to conquer Everest? Why or why not?
Because of the popularity of summiting Everest, conditions at base camp have become crowded. Nor do all of the potential climbers co-operate with each other. With this in mind, why does one of the guides state, “Competition shouldn’t be between man and man, but between man and the mountain.” How might this advice be used in situations other than mountain climbing?
A lot of attention and praise is given to those who climb Everest, but little attention is paid to the Sherpas, the local people of the area who assist them to the top. How important is their help? Why do you think they get so little credit for their contributions?