I just watched the film “Frozen” which looked similar to Castaway or 127 Hours in that it had to do with being marooned and surviving the elements and its psychological effects. This is not one of my usual posts that purely discusses the theological ideas drawn from the film. Instead, what I feel compelled to comment on is the story itself and how it had the potential for greatness but fell sadly short of brilliance because it took the easy way out.
The film really should be called “Eaten” rather than Frozen. The characters are trapped on a ski-lift and what at first is threatening their lives is the cold. But instead of having the characters deal with the complexities of cold and beating those challenges, the writer throws in these wild wolves that in the end actually become the real antagonist for the characters. It becomes a movie about them escaping wolves. Mainly, if they can get away from the wolves, they will survive. The antagonist should’ve been the weather, storm and cold but the wild wolves became an easy way out. Had the writer stuck with the characters struggling with the cold, it would’ve forced the writers to become more creative, more complex in exploring the interaction and psyche of the characters and more brilliant in coming up with its resolution. The wolves seemed to come out of nowhere and had nothing to do with the main idea of the story. It was an easy way out to send a pack of wild animals, like Jaws, instead. The concept of being trapped on a ski-lift was intriguing, but the story fell clear away from brilliance. The easy way out with the wolves did not afford the writer the opportunity for brilliance.
It made me think of how often life is the same way. We want to tidy it up nice and neat, sometimes by avoiding the real problems and deflecting onto another. That’s the easy way out. To be brilliant means forcing ourselves to face the real problem and avail ourselves to the complexities of our human responses as well as making room for where we may creatively forge solutions. When we face the real problems – the real antagonists presented to us, we allow our character quality to be explored and to be developed in measures that match the intricacies of the problems we face. Then, we may discover genuine triumph.