This weekend I saw two movies that were phenomenal in their own ways. Everest and The Intern. I’ll admit: I had been more anxious to see Everest than The Intern. However, both entertained and spoke of values that we, as human beings all, identify with.
Take a look at Everest’s trailer here:
“You, my friends, are following in the very footsteps of history. Something beyond the power of words to describe.”
– Rob Hall
These first words in the trailers set the tone of the movie beautifully. Everest is based on the true story of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster. Now, I remember hearing about this catastrophe around the time that it happened. I don’t remember exactly when that was, I only remember my seven year old reaction: “I’m never climbing Mount Everest.”
Basically, the disaster goes as follows: on May 10-11, 1996, Everest was full of climbers — numerous teams and some solo adventurers– all attempting to reach her summit. A fast moving blizzard surprised all of these mountaineers… and eight people lost their lives. To date, it’s one of the worst disasters ever recorded on the mountain, only surpassed by 2014’s 16 fatalities and 2015’s 18 — both from avalanches.
The movie itself caught my attention this summer. It looked like a good action movie. I completely forgot that it was based off of a true story. I just wanted to see a movie about travel, adventure, and pushing yourself to the limit. All of these themes are present in the movie. However, it strikes harder and deeper than one would expect. Maybe it’s the added element that these people existed that makes the move stick in our minds. I think that it’s definitely a strong draw.
Everest, in its way, reminds me of Titanic. Minus the Jack and Rose plot, the actual historical context of the movie is fairly accurate… and definitely hits where it hurts. That’s the reason why I’ve watched the movie so often. Not because of the romance, but the disaster, and seeing people fight for their lives. That’s the reason why I enjoy action and suspense stories, in fact: the fight for survival.
Everest is all about extreme survival. Climbers trapped in harsh conditions. Some choose to let go, others fight for as long as they can — some survive, some don’t.
When Everest first came out, I saw a few critics giving negative reviews. Their reason? “It has no plot!” I strongly beg to differ. What critics see as a lack of plot, I see as an effort to make a movies as real as possible. For Hollywood standards, Everest did a heck of a job. They successfully made a movie, respecting the memories of these amazing adventurers. Heck, the director took the cast and crew to the base of the Himalayas, hired a professional climber, and actually filmed the whole movie on a neighboring mountain.
When I see filmmakers make an effort to tell a good story (especially if it’s based off of a true story), I admire them. So, Everest is very worthwhile to see just for that reason: it’s real.
Warning: There are graphic moments in Everest; the filmmakers respectfully show the effects of climbing the world’s tallest mountain. A man vomits blood. People freeze to death. It’s highly emotional and real, like I said. Some things are hard to watch. So be prepared for that.
Now, for a change of mood.
Take a look at The Intern’s trailer:
For those who are in need of inspirational life-stories, The Intern is a rollicking ride. It reminds me of my favorite dramedies like Dan In Real Life and Love Actually. It’s the kind of story that speaks of life’s little challenges: growing old and following your dreams while also valuing family time. These challenges are embodied in Robert De Niro’s Ben Whittaker and Anne Hathaway’s Jules Ostin.
What’s most compelling about this movie is when Jules and Ben start working together. There’s a bit of time where the writers establish a reluctance on Jules’s part to accept Ben’s wisdom and help, mainly due to his age. Eventually it does happen, though. Ben and Jules find respect and friendship in each other. Ben finds his drive again and Jules finds a way to love her business, but be less stressed.
Ben finds his way into the hearts of all his colleagues. They benefit from his wisdom in various ways, whether it be de-stressing Jules or teaching the other interns a classy way to dress. The theme I picked up with this movie is to respect all walks of life and help others. You never know where help will come from, and with whom.