An adaptation of Jon Krakauer's best selling book, "Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster". It attempts to recreate the disastrous events that took place during the Mount Everest climb on May 10, 1996. It also follows Krakauer and portrays what he was going through while climbing the mountain.Written by
As a serious climber and mountaineer, and as a professional guide, I am extremely concerned about the events of May 10,1996. After reading Jon Krakauer's book and MANY other reliable sources on the subject of the 1996 Everest tragedy, I was dismayed by what I saw in this film. One cannot understand what goes into an expedition like the one portrayed in the movie, the many personalities and complex decisions occurring on such an expedition, and the emotions and needs of someone participating in such an expedition, by watching a 90 minute movie. I feel that the writers took the characters and reduced them into stereotypes - Scott Fischer, the reckless daredevil; Rob Hall, the calculating, stern guide; Anatoli Boukreev, the non-caring, self-serving workhorse; and, finally, the many clients, unexperienced and not prepared for such an undertaking.
On a technical note, the writers reduce a +- 7 week acclimatization/climbing process into a 5 day climb! Understandably, they must fit the climb into 90 minutes, but this is ridiculous. They also reduce the effects of the altitude on the climbers to a level of simplicity. Obviously, they need not go into extreme medical detail, but the scenes showing Scott Fischer and Rob Hall talking to their groups about the climb do not show the complexity and difficulty of the acclimatization process. Many of the climbers had serious Himalayan experience under their belts, but these scene portray them as mere babes attempting their first climb.
Obviously, the film had to be simplified from the book to fit into 90 minutes, but I feel that the film was an insult to those who lost their lives that day, and to those who gave everything they had to save their comrades' lives. For one, Anatoli Boukreev went out into the storm three times, and single-handedly saved three lives.
Finally, and this is the most important point, Mr. Krakauer was criticized to the extreme for his seemingly one-sided perspective in his book. Many other first-hand accounts of the events of May 10,1996 differ greatly. There is so much other information available, besides Mr. Krakauer's book, that the writers could have and should have consulted. Although the movie is based on Mr. Krakauer's book, it seems to me that the writers would want to show what REALLY happened that day.
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