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…
How many movies exist out there where the scenes oozes its beauty onto your living room floor? Where a story pulls you in to the point of ignoring your own child’s plea for water in the night? Where characters are portrayed so realistically that you either wish to meet them in person or pray that your paths never cross?
Well, this is such a movie. The Grey starring Liam Neeson. Again it might not be the best movie I have ever seen, but it is one of those that caught me completely by surprise. (And I tend to blog about those.) One where the filmmakers took all the Hollywood clichés, said fuck it , and did their own thing. To everyone’s approval.
Most things about the movie work, but what really impressed me was the cinematography. The relentless Alaskan wilderness was portrayed so realistically that you were forced to wear a sweater. The shots of snow and ice, so beautiful that you had to wipe the screen to convince yourself that the frost wasn’t ON the screen. Blizzards blazing flakes with such force that it turns your own breath into vapour just watching the scene playing out. To allow more credit to the genius of Masanobu Takayanagi you can read an interview here.
I never bothered watching the movie upon its release, because well, I’m not the greatest fan of Liam Neeson. *Duck for stones.* Everyone loved him in Schindler’s List but although he made some good movies after that, I think I suffered from overexposure. The same condition I got from Tom Hanks and Nicole Kidman. So imagine my surprise to find this jewel that was already covered in dust in most people’s collections or memories. A thrilling ride of the human spirit surviving (or not) with a great supporting cast (and did I mention the cinematography?)
It has to be said that this movie is as effective in the plight of Grey Wolves, as Jaws was for Great White sharks. They might not really be the human-hunting, nightmare-stalking creatures as portrayed in the movie, but believe me when I say that if I ever hear a wolf’s cry in the night, I will shit my pants. Just there. On the spot. No excuses. I even got more respect for the children of Lycans since watching this movie.
What adds to the atmosphere and the chill and the scare is the haunting score for the movie, all created by the genius of Mark Stretenfeld. He was also responsible for musical interludes of American gangster, which no one probably remembers. Not being a composer myself, one of my benchmarks for a good score is when I want to own the music. Like the theme song from Game of Thrones, or the running along the beach song from that Olympic movie, Chariots of Fire. Musical moments that convey emotion of a scene without using words, without stating the obvious, a melody that grips your heart in a ferocious bite and never let’s go. Moments that is locked in my subconscious mind forever.
The piece of music of this movie that really struck gold with me is called “Into the Fray”, and that’s what is playing in the clip I posted. (Reading this post with that song playing is quite epic and awesome, even if I have to say so myself!)
Great work to all involved, and for those who haven’t seen it, it’s not what you might expect, and those unexpected ones are the true diamonds shining in the moviesphere, in my modest opinion.