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The Mountain Between Us - Film Review

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by Jonathon Tonkin (subscribe)
I'm a 26 year old male Senior Reporter for Weekend Notes. I Graduated from A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing and Communication) at UniSA in 2014. As well as writing for WN I have also done pieces for the Adelaide 36s and Mawson Lakes Living.
Published October 14th 2017
This film may seem cold but it will warm your heart
The Mountain Between Us is a romance survival movie which has Idris Elba and Kate Winslet producing powerful performances as two strangers whose paths cross by chance yet a disaster sees them grow closer than they could imagine.

The Mountain Between Us is a perfect blend of the survival and romance genres. Directed by relative newcomer Hany Abu-Assad, Abu-Assad has created a film that can appeal to a wide audience.

That said you need to walk into the cinema with the right expectations. Those of you expecting a gritty and dark survival movie - this is not for you. Those of you wanting a light and emotional love story - this movie is probably slightly more in your direction but still packs a decent amount of intensity and tension.

The Mountain Between Us ends up being more of a journey. A tale of two people who come together and form a relationship in extreme circumstances. Two strangers who have no choice but to rely on each other as they try and survive being stranded in the unforgiving mountains and in their struggles, they develop a bond stronger than the mountains that surround them.

The Mountain between Us, Survival, Romance, Film, Fox Studios, Idris Elba, Kate Winslett
Two strangers meeting by chance. - Images provided by 20th Century Fox.

The film mainly focuses on the dynamics between surgeon Ben Bass (Idris Elba) and photojournalist Alex Martin (Kate Winslet). Ben is shut-off and cautious, while Alex is impulsive and headstrong. The unlikely pair have to work through their differences and trust each other if they are to survive the treacherous mountains. What at first is simply an instinct and necessity to survive with each other, grows into a bond to protect each other against all odds of the frozen environment.

The Mountain Between Us is without a doubt a movie which is held up by the quality of its acting. Idris Elba, who has been moving from strength to strength in his performances, doesn't let up in this two-hander. He continues to dominate the screen with his presence and precise acting calibre.

Here he's partnered up with Hollywood pedigree in Kate Winslet. Winslet's experience comes through in this film as Elba and her bounce off each other, creating a purposeful relationship and in-depth characters with nothing but a snowy environment, a dog, and dialogue.

The chemistry between the two is strong from the get-go and they both manage to build engaging and developed characters with very little material. At the start of the film, you only know Ben and Alex as a surgeon and a photographer and not an awful lot more is revealed until much closer to the end of the film as these two endure the wildness together.

However, even with the little that you do know about these unfortunate travellers, you still find yourself relating and connecting emotionally with them. Elba and Winslet display their acting prowess, getting two somewhat basic characters and making the most out of their material to produce people you can really care about.

The Mountain between Us, Survival, Romance, Film, Fox Studios, Idris Elba, Kate Winslett
The trials of survival becoming a relationship. - Images provided by 20th Century Fox

One thing that does jump out in The Mountain Between Us is the scenery and landscape. With a film that is less harsh than most other survival movies, many of the establishing shots highlight the beauty and serenity of an environment that is untouched by mankind. The vast and breathtaking views help contrast with the characters' bleak isolation. Even as conditions worsen, you can't help but appreciate much of the impressive nature they journey through.

The Mountain Between Us is a superb blending of the survival and romance genres. If you want to view the film for only one of these aspects, I don't think you're are going to get what you're expecting. However, if you walk into the cinema expecting something different, something that delivers just enough on all the points it sets out to, then I think you'll be surprised. Through the acting of Elba and Winslet, the marvellous shots taken by Abu-Assad, and a story that's well paced and intriguing, there will be something in The Mountain Between Us for every viewer to appreciate. This film is easily a safe pick for groups who want to satisfy a wide range of viewers.

The Mountain between Us, Survival, Romance, Film, Fox Studios, Idris Elba, Kate Winslet
See The Mountain Between Us in cinemas now

The Mountain Between Us is now showing.
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When: From the 12th of October
Where: Cinemas everywhere
Cost: Varies
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