The Mountain Between Us
The awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, stretching from Canada to New Mexico are great to admire from a distance; that is, until the plane comes hurtling towards a snowy mountainside. It’s a terrifying start to The Mountain Between Us, directed by Hany Abu-Assad, promising a treacherous road of struggle and endurance on this unforgiving terrain.
What unfolds instead is a somewhat cliché love story, laden with longing stares and flashbacks to tender moments, with a love scene preceded by the age old dilemma “I want to but I shouldn’t”, and interspersed with some moments of survival and a whole lot of walking.
When a flight to Denver is cancelled because of a storm, two strangers, Alex (Kate Winslet), a daring photographer and Ben (Idris Elba), a neurosurgeon, team together and take a private flight instead. The steep cost is dwarfed by their urgency, Alex’s being her wedding and Ben’s being a surgery he must perform. With the pilot’s dog in the front seat, they take off. But this being a survival film, their ingenious, expensive plan is bound to fail. Just when the audience expects the storm to bring them down, the pilot succumbs to a stroke. The pilot is dead but Alex, Ben and the dog survive. Left with the question of whether to wait for help, sheltered by the plane’s shell, or leave and find it themselves, they choose the latter and the romance becomes inevitable. They begin their trek, but with an already scarce and dwindling food supply and with Alex’s broken leg their survival seems unlikely.
This is not a movie for those after grit and harsh reality, but for anyone who holds an affinity for dramatic love stories with a life and death element, it might just tug a few heartstrings. The acting by the two British greats is, as expected, superb and Ramin Djawadi’s (known best for the infamous introduction to the Game of Thrones series) musical input ties in with the setting seamlessly, lifting the picture up by a peg or two.
Nevertheless, The Mountain Between Us lacks the substance and depth portrayed in other survival films such as Wild and Cast Away. It’s a mainstream romance pulled along by Winslet, Elba and, of course, the dog. But with an unsatisfying ending, the movie doesn’t follow through on all of its promises.
The Mountain Between Us is released nationwide on 6th October 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Mountain Between Us here: