The survival-romance tale, The Mountain Between Us, sees Academy Award winner Kate Winslet as Ashely and Idris Elba (Ben) playing the two main characters who are stranded after a plane crash.
He’s a neurosurgeon on his way to a medical conference while she is a photojournalist on her way home from an assignment, trying to get back for a wedding.
When they realise help is not coming, they embark on a journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. They also fall in love, and manage to get it on despite being half-frozen.
Well, that’s stretching it somewhat, I do think. And this opinion is egged on by the lack of chemistry between these two talented actors.
Perhaps the mismatch lies in the script by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, where the characters are not given enough appeal or time to develop some dynamics. Winslet offers a cold front whose British accent suddenly feels very clipped, while Elba takes on a brooding, hulking image that seems out of place in this romantic tale. From the minute they meet, you know these two are not on the same cinematic page, despite the help of a very cute dog.
The movie is based on a romance novel by Charles Martin, which is a tender love story.
While the screen romance is hard to bear, The Mountain Between Us is watchable for the gravitas these two leads brings to the struggle of survival in a cold world.
Finally, after the breathtaking cinematography, there is always the dog to melt the heart!