So I’ve been going to screenings and listening to actor panels recently. Just came back from one with Liam Neeson. Liam Neeson is a stud. I’ve admired him since love actually but really for Qui-gon jinn. Anyways, he was going to speak after a screening of his most recent movie, the grey, and me being a fan could not pass the chance to simply listen to the deep timbre of his voice. I mean dude he’s the voice of Aslan.
The grey was a beautiful movie. The movie is about a group of oil workers who survive a plane crash in the bitter cold of Alaska. Not only do they have to endure the elements and find food and shelter, but must escape from a pack of merciless wolves. The oil workers are led by Liam Neeson’s character that is a skilled hunter.
-Spoiler alert- in every group dynamic there’s always the asshole rebel — the one that stands against authority/or the leader (Neeson’s character), the one that is angry and picks fight with the rest of the group. Anyways in the movie, as each person dies either from the wolves, the cold, or the altitude, we get to the asshole named Diaz (who has survived all these past struggles up until this point) all of a sudden stops walking and decides to sit down.
Hendrick: Is that it? You’re just gonna sit there? Is that what you want?
Hendrick: After what we survived?
Diaz: That’s exactly why. What I got waiting for me back there? I’m gonna sit on a drill all day. Get drunk all night. That’s my life. Turn around and look at that.
Diaz: I feel like that’s all for me. How do I beat that. When will it ever be better? I can’t explain it.
This movie’s been out for a year now, and during the panel, the actor who played this character, Frank Grillo, said that many people still come up to him to say angrily, “you gave up.” the one guy that you most likely not guess to just “give up” all of a sudden sits down. What Liam Neeson said next made the whole room exhaled in realization. Neeson pointed out that for Diaz to die at the height of his life — at the sight of the mountains — wasn’t so bad in the context of things. Here was a guy that would always put up a fight, even when it wasn’t necessary, yet at the end, instead of being resistant to the bad, he finally surrendered to the beauty.
To be there in the bitter cold having lived through so much death and sadness, (or to climb Everest and know that you won’t be coming down – Neeson referenced Krakauer’s into thin air), yet still be able to realize and experience beauty right in front of your eyes is so powerful. I was having a really bad day today but what Neeson said and what the movie showed really reminded me that as bad as things can get, just open your eyes and there’s beauty right in front of you. Beauty that is waaay beyond my current problems or meaningless FB status.
The Funeral by Band of Horses is the song of my current moment because though the lyrics are sad, the musicality of this song is so beautiful it just gets me every time. I can’t explain it.