Surviving The Grey

Posted: January 19, 2012 by jperritt in Action, Drama
Tags: , , , , , ,

Liam Neeson has always seemed to be a crowd favorite at the box office. Even though he has played the villain (Batman Begins) and taken some not-so-great-rolls (Clash of the Titans 1 & 2), he still seems to be a leading man we love to watch on the silver screen. In conversations with other movie-lovers about his most recent work in The Grey, it seems that audiences are willing to line up and purchase tickets for this gritty survival adventure as well.

When I first read the premise to The Grey and saw the trailer, I didn’t think much of it. “Maybe I’ll rent that one,” was my passing thought. However, the more previews I’ve seen and the more I’ve thought about the film, it seems to be one that would resonate with audiences. Not simply because Neeson seems to be an actor that audiences like and identify with, but mainly because the premise of survival is the central theme to the film. Sure, you take Neeson out of the film and put a lesser-known in his place and the film might be a flop, but the combo of Neeson and the theme make this film resonate.

The story follows a group of oil drillers whose plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness. Not only do they have to fight for survival in a cold climate, they also must fight against a pack of wolves that are hunting them down. Scott Free Productions is associated with the film and the tone (at least from the trailers) seems to be on par with some of their other works (Man on Fire). The tone this film seems to carry is one of gritty realism that might be difficult for some viewers (including myself). However, the tone should add a level of intensity and realism to the film, which should increase the desire for survival the audience will feel.

We can see that studios employ actors and certain techniques in filmmaking that cause a film to resonate among viewers, and while those techniques can be useful and good, it is the deeper Scriptural truths I want to focus on.

If you think about it, the entire human race was created with the idea of survival as a foreign notion to them. Survival was something so absent from the human mind because the idea of survival did not come about until the fall. We were created as perfect beings who would not die. We know that sin ushered death into creation (Gen. 3:19), therefore, prior to sin, there was no death. If there was no death, there was no need to survive. Survival from what?

Survival is a fearful thing because it is an unnatural thing. It is an unnatural thing, because death isn’t natural. You’ve heard people make the statement, ‘He died of natural causes.’ Death isn’t natural. It is so unnatural that God had to take on flesh to kill it (1 Cor. 15).

While interest in The Grey somewhat puzzled me at first, I can see why the idea of survival strikes such a chord among viewers. Live or die on this day is a tagline from the film, which is the driving force behind these characters. Life is what was graciously given to us by our Creator and Satan deceived us promising a fuller life, but gave us death.

Because the human race has such a desire to live and fight for survival, is what makes a film like The Grey one that viewers can identify with. They get to watch a group of oil drillers fight for something that was graciously given to the entire human race. It is about the ultimate battle of good vs. evil, life vs. death, God vs. the devil.

  1. […] too long ago I wrote two posts (find them here and here) dealing with themes surrounding Liam Neeson’s new film, They Grey. Those post deal […]

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