The Revenant

Posted: January 17, 2016 in Movies
Tags: ,

The Revenant is the story of Hugh Glass, real life frontiersman who in 1823 survived a bear attack, and traveled across the wilderness of Montana and South Dakota.

The story opens with Glass and his men fleeing an Indian attack while out collecting furs and pelts. While on the run, Glass, played by Leonardo Dicaprio, is attacked by a bear and almost killed. That scene is harrowing and looks great. Probably the best bear attack ever on film (I can assume it’s CGI lol).

After this three men agree to stay by Glass’s side while the rest of the party continue to a US military fort. Basically the men left with glass decide to abandon him, and Glass is forced to travel the wilderness alone and half dead.

I was never sure exactly where the characters were location wise and exactly how far he had to travel, but basically Glass had to travel really really far to get to the fort, as it was the only place he could get help.

Along the way he gets occasional help from friendly Indians, and Glass speaks one of the Native American languages fluently. At some point he was with a Native woman and had a son. There’s also a loose plot about one of the Indians looking for his kidnapped daughter.

The selling point of this movie is the scenery and cinematography, as the entire film features scenery of the American plain states. Shot in natural light, none of the scenes look processed or artificial.

It’s also brutal, as Glass beats impossible odds to stay alive. He has to eat whatever he can in the woods, and at one point sleeps inside the carcass of a dead horse to keep warm.

Along the way is a theme about the nature of revenge, and the idea that is best left in God’s hands. This leads to an ending not exactly standard for revenge films.  Having said that, the end fight scene was brutal and gritty. In this age of highly choreographed overly stylized fight scenes, it was a breath of fresh air to see a down and dirty fight on screen.

The Revenant was a bit long for my tastes, but is worth seeing for its visuals, grittiness, and realism.

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