(Liam Nesson) is a hunter in Alaska who protects people working at an oil rig from wolves. Ottway writes a final letter
to his wife Ana before planning to commit suicide. For whatever reason, he doesn't go through with the act. He
gets on a plane with other people from the oil rig. On their way back, their plane crashes. Ottway and six survivors
from the crash start a journey across the snow in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness as they must protect themselves from
a wolf pack that wants to pick them off one by one. If they don't make it out, it will be either the weather
or the wolves that will get them.
THE GREY is
a suspenseful tale of survival with a philosophical bent. The wilderness is beautiful and yet deadly.
The group has the weather and wolves to protect themselves from. Liam Nesson digs into the character of Ottway
who has given up on life and no hope of a future. He is a tired man who sees nothing ahead of him. This latest
struggle gives him new life as he wants the other survivors to make it. We get to know each survivor in what could
be their last moments. Each attack by the weather or the wolves is brief and mainly director Joe Carnahan shows the
beginning of an attack to leave the rest to our imaginations. A poem that Ottway's father wrote
reinforces the themes of survival and living life like it is the first and last day.
The score is
beautiful and connects with the quiet moments that Ottway experiences during the film and lets us focus on Ottway.
The film moves back and forth between the memories of his wife and what may be his last moments. The memory he keeps
seeing in his head while awake or dreaming reveals more as the film goes on. You find out why he can't go back to he
rand why they're apart. THE GREY also raises the question on whether memories of a loved one means you are about to
die as they grow more vivid. THE GREY is a haunting meditation on survival and life and death. I'm still
split on how the movie just stops (and even teases further with a brief scene at the end of the credits). The trailers
even give more of a glimpse into part of the ending not in the final film. The ending may not satisfy everyone
while others say it perfectly reflects the meaning of the poem Ottway recites in the film. Regardless of your feelings
for the ending, THE GREY is near perfect.
The audio commentary
with Co-Writer/ Director Joe Carnahan and his two film editors (Roger Barton and Jason Hellman) for the film includes an explanation
of why the movie ended the way it did because Joe Carnahan felt the movie should have ended that way despite filming a final
confrontation scene in several different ways (which none of those versions are included in the deleted scenes sadly and neither
are the trailers which included part of that version of the ending).
The seven deleted
scenes include some additional character bits which are interesting to watch, but their inclusion could have slowed down the
film. Also included is the DVD version of the movie in standard definition
and a code to download and stream a digital copy of the film.
FINAL ANALYSIS: THE GREY is an interesting man against nature in this philosophical survival
movie. The ending still has me on the fence about whether I like it or
not, but the extra scene at the end of the credits does make me feel a little bit better.
is (c)5-18-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send
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