200 years ago in America. The incredibly beautiful scenery of unspoiledÂ countryside is just as ubiquitous as the blind forces of nature and man. Leo DiCaprioâsÂ absolute commitment to his role is in line with Alejandro GonzĂĄlez IĂ±ĂĄrrituâsÂ brilliant screenplay. Youâll find yourself shifting anxiously in your seat for long passagesÂ of this 2.5-hour flick, a breathtakingly tense and uncompromising drama devoid of any Hollywood glam. The Revenant is a hugely absorbing movie full of challengesÂ and ultimately no rewards.
The title may seem a bit off-putting to some as it evokes Schwarzenegger antics of a loneÂ avenger seeking retaliation at any cost. This is a notion that couldnât be further awayÂ from what youâll see when witnessing the revenant, aka Hugh GlassÂ (Leonardo DiCaprio).
The Revenant is quite simply the most engrossing movieÂ ever made about the early days of American settlement.
The wild-west scenario depictedÂ here presents itself as an uncompromising and staggeringly beautiful habitatÂ populated by savage beasts and indigenous people fighting the white men, everyoneÂ leading a life merely for the sake of survival. Here the laws of man have little or no relevanceÂ whatsoever, which results in a world where itâs all homo homini lupus, orÂ one manÂ being a wolf to another man.
Once youâve settled in your seat, youâll soon forget thereâs popcorn on your lap since theÂ movie will have you devoured from the word go. Weâre right in the thick of things as weÂ walk through the deceptive calm of a flooded forest, hunting for deer with Hugh GlassÂ and his half-blood son Hawk. A voice whispers âkeep breathingâ, which will prove aÂ sound piece of advice for you as the peaceful scenery is about to be irretrievably lostÂ with the first shot.
The Revenantâs ingredients are the same as those of any clichĂ©’d 1960s western starringÂ John Wayne, only that the cavalry is hopelessly lost and decimated amidst the fizzingÂ arrows of a PawneeÂ attack, the trappers are far from our amicable fellows in The Life and Times of GrizzlyÂ Adams, and even the grizzly steps out ofÂ line as we witness it attack and munch off the back of an unsuspecting trapper. ForÂ minutes. IĂ±ĂĄrrituâs (Birdman)Â film is not for the squeamish and those with a faint heart, but â in terms of the cinematographyÂ â itâs just sheer brilliance.
But whatâs with the revenge, you may wonder.
Thereâs blood revenge of one manÂ longing for retaliation of his loss. Thereâs Pawnees exacting vengeance on the white manÂ for ravaging their country by killing their people and animals and annexing their land. Then thereâs omnipresent mother nature, presenting herself in her brutest guise byÂ punishing everyone who isnât strong or smart enough to play along with her rules.
Hugh Glass is the guy who bears the brunt and pain of revenge. Of course, this is whatÂ turns him into the revenant, but his revenge mission is devoid of any trace of laudableÂ glory traditionally associated with such a noble mindset. His quest is that of breathlessÂ desperation, a human being battling the forces of nature and reckless men for the soleÂ reason of having nothing else to live for other than the next piece of meat he can stealÂ from a rotting animal carcass.
Look forward to brilliant acting and a delightfullyÂ unintelligible villain (Tom Hardy) in a screenplay where men are depicted in theirÂ brutish original version.