15 August 1999 | PeachHamBeach
Alive is a great movie experience. It is based on a true event in 1972 and on the narrative book by Piers Paul Read. It's about a Uraguayan college rugby team whose chartered airplane crashed deep in the icy Andes Mountains while on its way to a game in Santiago, Chile. Reeling with disbelief and shock and bleeding from dozens of wounds, the passengers who lived through the crash are faced with the brutal elements, starvation and the horror that they may never be found alive. The cast is terrific: Ethan Hawke as Nando, the levelheaded, determined leader; Vincent Spano as desperate Antonio, whose optimism slowly crumbles under the weight of hopelessness; Josh Hamilton as medical student Roberto, who tirelessly treats gangrenous wounds knowing his ministrations are useless; and especially Bruce Ramsay as Carlitos, whose unwavering faith in God and his sense of dark humor ("If you eat me, will you promise to clean your plates?") acts as the glue that holds this wet, shivering clump of survivors together. You indeed can feel the cold and the misery as you watch these poor people wade through waist deep snow, endure a nightmarish avalanche, spend days at a time soaked to their skins in minus forty degree winds, and face the ultimate decision that will make or break them physically, emotionally and spiritually: whether or not they can bring themselves to eat the bodies of friends and relatives who did not survive the crash. Everything in this movie, from James Newton Howard's touching music score to the unbeatable cinematography showing the majesty and severity of the Andes, is beautiful and flawless. This movie is one I'd recommend to anyone who wants an exciting, touching, unforgettable movie to chew on for years to come.