There have not been many movies lately that I’ve been dying to see. The Revenant was one of the ones I’ve been waiting for. I’ve thought of nothing else but this movie’s effect on me.
Disclaimer: The politically correct term Native Americans I intertwined with the movie’s term of “Indian” only to show the time period of the film.
Spoilers: This review/commentary contains spoilers. You can still enjoy the film they aren’t game changers.
The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio Tom Hardy
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Glass, a scout for a group of fur trappers and soldiers. With him he has his young son who is part Native American. Tom Hardy is Fitzgerald, a trapper not part of the group of soldiers in the hunting party. Fitzgerald is also someone who hates Indians due to his partial scalping years ago.
Glass and his son help the group find the best places for trapping and how to avoid attacks by the local Indians. In flashbacks we are shown the love Glass had for his Native American wife and the events that bring Glass and his son so close together. Their bond as father and son is deep.
During their expedition the group is attacked by a local tribe. With the help of Glass and his son a handful of the men are able to escape to safety. But because Glass’s son is half Native American and Glass lived with a tribe, a select few blame the attack on him. This causes internal strife amongst the soldiers and the trappers. They argue which direction to go in and who to follow. Making the situation worse Glass is savagely attacked by a bear protecting her cubs. Glass is now considered “dead weight” and the men want to leave him behind. His son wants to stay with him along with another loyal boy. The leader of the group offers extra money to whoever does stay behind. He won’t leave the two young boys to fend for themselves so they agree to give up their share of the money to anyone else who volunteers. Of course Fitzgerald offers his assistance.
Fitzgerald is told to only leave when and if Glass dies, to give him a proper burial, or he doesn’t get his money.
I’m trying not to give everything away but it’s hard. The story gives an astute insight on the subjects of grief, redemption, forgiveness, and the lengths one would go to in order to avenge a loved ones death/murder.
Glass’s character is so consumed by vengeance he doesn’t care about his own life. He will do and survive anything to reach his goal.
From the musical score to the breathtaking cinematography this film was perfection. There isn’t a lot of dialogue and there doesn’t need to be. Leonardo DiCaprio says it all with his face. Personally I think this is the best performance of his career.
Tom Hardy, who is no slouch himself, plays his part so well you hate him. Even a die hard fan like me was rooting against him. It was sometimes difficult to watch him portray a man so detestable. I didn’t even feel that way watching Bronson! It shows just how ingenious his work is.
The film is long but never feels like it’s dragging. I wanted it to continue. Unlike Spotlight where I felt every minute ticking by.
There is no doubt in my mind that The Revenant should have won Best Picture. I’ll have to settle for it’s wins in Best Actor, Directing, and Cinematography.
When I am still thinking about a film days later I know it made an impact. Sometimes award shows are to mired in the social and political aspects of a movie instead of going with how the movie made you think and feel. After watching The Revenant I thought of my own losses and grief. Would taking revenge really make me feel better? Is it worth the repercussions? Does it start a never ending cycle? I don’t believe too much in forgiveness given certain situations. I’ve always struggled with the concept. You have to be prepared to give up everything once you take that dark path. I’m not ready for that I still have so much to do.
One of those things is to watch The Revenant again.