The Grey is an exciting film that works on many levels

Now I thought The Grey was just a survival film with Liam Neeson. Whatever. And even as I began to watch it, I thought that maybe the wolves were one of many hurdles the survivalists had to face.

How I wrong I was. Not only is The Grey an awesome and thrilling and surprising adventure/survival film, not only is it beautiful and well acted, not only is it the most awesome Man vs Wolf showdown since The Neverending Story (“COME FOR ME G’MORK: I AM ATREYU!”), but it is so much more. It works on multiple layers of meaning:

  • Religious - not just that there is a scene where the main character shouts out to an unresponsive sky ‘I’m callin on ye!’. But the whole film paints the journey from a hell, through a purgatory to a heaven.

  • Political - a beleaguered group of men lost deep behind enemy lines, being knocked off one by one by a more primitive foe end up desecrating the corpse of one of their enemies.

  • Psychological/moral - examining various fears, hopes, excuses, virtues and vices.

  • Gender study - note how the men never really bond with each other, but all their identity is grounded in the (absent) women in their lives: daughters and wives.

  • Exploration of the problematic relationship between humanity and nature.

Check out Thomas Caldwell’s review.

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