The Mountain Between Us: "Alive Actually"
"Alive Actually" would have been a better title for this film as it is both a survival thriller in the vein of Alive and a love story à la Love Actually. It's a thriller/chick-flick - a strange mish-mash of genres that actually works.
Director Hany Abu-Assad brings us the story of two strangers (Ben, played by Idris Elba and Alex, played by Kate Winslet) who, after surviving a plane crash in the snow-covered Colorado Rockies must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements. When they realise help is not coming, they are forced to embark on a perilous journey across the wilderness while learning about themselves and each other along the way.
Based on a book by Charles Martin, this film fails to bring the realities of either aspect: survival and romance, to a satisfying conclusion. The romantic element is predictable and leaves no surprises. The survivalist aspects bring some suspense and wince-out-loud moments, there is never a feeling of dread or that they might not make it. What I found interesting, from a psychological aspect is how such an experience might draw to people together, akin to Stockholm Syndrome. Because the characters are very two-dimensional, I found myself trying to understand their motivation and what might draw them together other than a basic need to support each other. Both Kate and Idris give it everything they've got but the chemistry is not there.
The other thing that concerned me with the film was the sense of time. We are told that three weeks have gone by but it only feels like three days. Plus Kate's hair is perfectly curled every morning.
The only positive note in this tired trope-filled movie is that they did not eat the dog.
Wait for it to come on TV.