Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Grey: Expert Movie Review By Jan

Once again, Liam Nesson proves to us all that he is a Bad @ss Mother F&cker!

I want to start by saying that I loved this movie. It seems like most critics, surprisingly, agree with me. However, viewers are rating this film around 50 percent. Why is it getting rated around 50 percent? I am willing to bet, that if your "best movies of all time list" includes TransformersIndiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, or any of the Saw movies, you will not like this film. I would even go as far as saying that you will certainly hate this film, especially the ending. The Grey urges contemplation of man as the human animal, one suddenly cast into the wilderness where real beasts live and survive. And I will tell you one thing, this movie proves that man is definitely not always on top of the food chain.

What is this film about?
In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are a pack of wolves who see them as intruders. At first glance, it is pretty obvious that this film is about survival. But beneath the surface, this film is not about survival, but death. What? You saw this movie, hated it, and didn't leave with that impression at all? I will discuss the symbolism at the end, after the spoiler alert.

What did I like most about this film?
I loved the symbolism and suspense. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Liam Neeson is fantastic as always. I loved that this movie was in fact not predictable. For example, when Liam Neeson's character asks God for help, nothing happens. I found that to be very refreshing. He responds by saying "F&ck it. I'll do it on my own." However, my favorite part of the film has GOT to be the ending. I found the ending to be absolutely moving. I think I even shed a tear or two. If you understand the symbolism, it was a fitting, and bad @ss ending.

What did I like least about this film?
There was one scene in particular that I found to be painfully cheesy. A man dies and then sees his daughter's hair fall into his face. I don't know, some people may have liked that part, but I cringed. In the end, the reaction from the audience was the aspect I disliked the most. As the film credits rolled, I couldn't help but observe a reaction of, "That was it? What happens? Is that the end?" Honestly people, did you pay attention to any of the movie or do you have the critical thinking skills of a 9-year-old? I have mentioned symbolism in this movie, but the symbolism is not THAT complicated. For the love of God, read a book or something.

The Final Verdict:
It is a must see. Both you and your significant other will enjoy this film.

!Spoiler Alert! Understanding the ending of the film:

It seems like a lot of viewers are confused by the ending. At the end of the film Liam Neeson's character dies. It does not show him dying, but it is pretty obvious. Here are the reasons:

Liam's character often sees visions of his wife who, as the viewers assumed throughout the movie, had divorced him. However, during the final scene you see him and his wife together in bed. She tells him " Do not be afraid," and then the camera shows a IV drip. This means that she did not leave him, she died, and was simply telling him to not to be afraid of death.

Liam's character also recites a poem his father wrote, which was also the poem he read at his father's funeral.

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

This poem is not hard to understand. In a nutshell, it means, you are going to die and this is the last day you will ever know.

The wolves in this scene are also symbolic of his struggle. In the scene, Omega wolves are surrounding him. However, when the Alpha wolf approaches, the Omega wolves back down. Liam's character is much like the Alpha wolf, in that he was the only survivor at this point in the film. So with a knife taped to his right hand and broken mini liquor bottles taped to his right hand (nice touch) he is ready to face his death swinging.

Do you get it now?



Meredith said...

Can't wait to see it! I love Liam Neeson. :)

Jan said...

I thought he was a total bad @ss in Taken.. his "daughter" was a douche for not listening to him.

Anonymous said...

The audience rating seems low. Me and my friends really liked it and the other people in the theater seemed to as well. Maybe we're smarter than most people. LOL!

Jan said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it also. Like I said, if you think that "Transformers" is one of the greatest films of all time, you probably will not like this film..I think some people were just expecting a good blood bath..

Laura said...

He is BA. Super BA in "Taken." And hot in a brooding sort of way.

Smokey Joe Mayes said...

Finally got around to seeing this last night. The poem is really the key and tells you everything about the meaning of the movie:

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

It's not Live OR die on this's Live AND die

The symbolism was rich and deep. The band of characters -- generally described as bad guys -- were representative of mankind..."sinners," if you swing that way.

The wolves were the inevitability of death. We're ALL going to die...none of escape the wolves. The calmness with which Ottway walks the guy with the femoral artery wound through death brilliantly sets this tone.

All succomb in various ways...trying against all odds (Talget), giving up (Diaz), struggling to the end (Hendrick) but they all make the attempt to live.

Ottway knows and embraces the inevitability of death but, as the poem says, he insists on living and dying on this day.

The poem recalled Dylan Thomas:

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Tremendous movie...great analysis, Jan. You're right...the movie's central theme was, quite simply, death.

Henrick Z said...

Nice poem by Dylan Thomas! However, like mentioned on other sites, at the very end of the movie, after most people have left the theatre, we get a glimpse of an image that to me seems like a dead wolf, suggesting, even if Liam's character may have died too in that final fight, he at least conquered his fate, to some extent, and leaves space for an open ending, indeed open to any interpretation! To me such epic fight symbolizes any fierce and profound battle we may come up against in life, not just dead at the end.... In the end you can't keep running away from the wolves, or you will be slowly devoured, piece by piece, no one has to stand up, upright like 'liam' and face your fears and give it all!