Sunday, January 29, 2012

the GREY man passes

I saw The GREY with a bunch of people for work yesterday and I was the only that came away from it who liked it and I'll tell you why.

Aside from a few typical movie goofs and what to me was an erroneous zoological fallacy (the relentless wolf pack) it is a brutally simple movie that hits home. It is artistic and has a soul that so many movies miss these days. The opening narration supplied by Ottway (Liam Neeson) let you know exactly what was going on without giving you too much-it was spartan, but anymore would have been reaching into overkill-the simplicity is what won me over.

That and the dark humor.

Flying back to Fairbanks Alaska from whatever northern refinery Ottway was employed (to keep men safe and kill things) he dreams of his wife-who is gone for whatever reason, later revealed.......*(I realized as I posted this Neeson is also a widower-HE IS the perfect man to play this role and I suspect it must have been very intense and emotional for him) 
The plane ices up and goes down. A handful of survivors struggle to survive the bitter cold and onslaught of a ravenous pack of wolves. Having read Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf multiple times as a child and later Of Wolves and Men by a ??? Lopez, I don't buy a pack of wolves going after a group of men-who can fight back-especially not when there is the easier pickings of the dead-so let that part run into the realm of fantasy and picture Frazetta's wolves for the sake of enjoying the movie.

There was a scene as the men were holed up beside the false safety of a fire that they could hear a challenge to the alpha male wolf-and then hear it savagely put down. In a similitude, one of the survivors challenges Ottway and is equally-though mercifully put down. Also the darkness hiding the wolves yet their breath in the frosty air being visible-wonderfully creepy.

Also as they sat beside the fire and discussed why they wanted to go on living, Ottway recites a poem his father had written. It gave a little something to the film, that soul I mentioned earlier.

Without spoiling too much-you know they are in a terrible place, you know death surrounds them at every turn and as Ottway (Neeson) cries out to God, a number of pleas' and expletives, and is met only with silence he responds with, "Fuck it , I'll do it myself."
Now the audience laughed at that, I didn't and its not because I'm a spiritual person who won't curse God but because all I could think was-You CAN still do it yourself. We know he is capable, he doesn't need a miracle-a 'God in the machine' ending or even a Man vs. Wild scenario of a cabin or well traveled road right around the corner, these would only take away from and weaken the STORY and we are here to discuss stories not happy endings.

Ultimately we do have our climax and here is where I suspect most of my fellow movie goers had a problem~I don't wish to spoil anything-it is worth seeing, but it is a "You figure it out" ending.

I loved that as he prepared for his confrontation with The GREY? alpha wolf, he recited his fathers poem yet again...

Once more into the fray.
Into the last good fight I'll ever know.
Live and die on this day.
Live and die on this day


Charles Gramlich said...

I thought, too, the relentless wolf pack was not at all realistic, but the idea of man against nature is an interesting one that often attracts me. I'll probably see this at some point.

David J. West said...

Right on Charles, its worth a watch certainly.

Mikeyboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mikeyboy said...

I love Liam...I will go see this film...Today.

David Alastair Hayden said...

The unnatural wolf pack is disappointing to me because based on the trailer I just assumed it WAS an unnatural wolf pack. I thought there was some sort of haunted wolf mojo going on. Still sounds interesting, but now I'm a little less intrigued than I was.

Keith said...

I'd like to see this one. From your description, it will be one for when the rest of the family is asleep.

David J. West said...

Cool Mikey

Yeah David-nothing supernatural at all per-se, a haunted wolf pack though I like that idea.

Keith-yeah it can be a little gruesome for the rest of the family.

Angie said...

Sounds intense.

David J. West said...

It is Angie, it is.