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‘The Mountain Between Us’ aspires to soar high, falls flat

By Ezzaddin Altareb

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“The Mountain Between Us” is a film directed by Hany Abu-Assad, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba released on Oct. 6. With a budget of $35 million and an experienced director, the film had a lot going for it.  But fails in several aspects.

“The Mountain Between Us” is about two strangers who form a bond after their plane crashes in the mountains. Alex (Kate Winslet) is a journalist who is late to her wedding in Denver because the flight was delayed. Ben (Idris Elba) is a neurosurgeon n who also has important business in Denver, where they transfer to a smaller plane.

While above the mountains, the pilot has a stroke and the plane crashes. Alex, Ben, and the pilot’s dog survive the crash.They spend the rest of the movie struggling to descend the mountain and arguing about how to solve the numerous problems that arise during their ordeal in the mountains.

Alex and Ben eventually fall in love during the latter part of the ordeal. This aspect of the movie feels a bit forced considering how fast the romance plot unfolds.In one scene, they are strangers to each other. Five minutes later, they are lovers. There seems to be no reason for it being forced other than the writers’ inability to properly write a romance. A romance takes a long time to establish properly and speeding the progression of the romance to a few scenes destroys the romance.

The movie leaves viewers struggling to figure out whether it is a survival movie or a comedy/romance movie. The survival aspects of the film are downplayed and not that life-threatening. Throughout the movie, there is no feeling of desperation when the characters are faced with issues like starvation and hypothermia.  The movie tends to not focus on these when one would think these would be important to two people in this situation. Playing up these aspects would make the movie more dramatic and suspenseful which a survival movie should have for it to be a proper survival movie.

On the other hand, there are instances that are supposed to be comedic destroying any suspense the movie builds up but  coming off as unfunny at best.  Among these are the many scenes in which Ben is forced by Alex to go look for the dog which is presented in a comedic way but ends up bland and it’s painful after the first time.   

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