The Grey

Essay by Jessica100College, UndergraduateA, November 2014

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The Grey: Man vs. the Wilderness

In Joe Carnahan's The Grey, several middle aged oil men find themselves hopelessly stranded in Alaska after surviving a traumatic plane crash. Those who live through the crash struggle to survive in the midst of harshly cold weather and in the presence of a wolf pack. In addition, the movie portrays a treacherous blizzard that creates an even greater fight for the men to survive. Unlike many movies where nature is delightful and pleasant, The Grey reveals a more frightening state of nature. Through gruesome scenes of carnage in intense weather conditions, Carnahan's film exposes the brutality of nature. Rather than portraying it more favorably like many mainstream movies do, he depicts nature as a villain who mercilessly punishes the careless men. Therefore, this man-versus-nature thriller treats nature and the faults of the men with equal harshness, while also identifying their resistance towards each other.

Generally, movies like to emphasize nature's beauty and good qualities; however Carnahan's film rebels against this social norm. Initially, the men are confronted with a blizzard that reveals the dramatic force of nature. Prior to the plane crash, the men mock the idea of anything catastrophic occurring during their flight. Their joking mannerisms expose the superficiality of their character. Although both the men and nature are depicted as ruthless, they're villainous ways are not the same. The men are more apathetic and self-oriented, in contrast with nature that involves a wolf pack on the hunt and intense weather conditions that occur without warning.

Immediately the men confront nature's brutality. They were confused on what exactly happened and surprised that they actually survived the crash. Nonetheless, instead of the men suggesting ideas to get home, they chose to argue and blame each other for the incident. This shows their...