Survival Against All Odds, Beautiful Yet Horrific
By Paul Hall, www.channelguidemag.com
Inspired by true events, The Revenant focuses on a legendary explorer named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio). While on a trip to the uncharted American wilderness, Glass and his young Pawnee son are all that is keeping his hunting crew out of harm’s way. But an attack on Glass by a wild animal leaves him near death in the arctic weather of an American winter.
With few left in the party, the captain leaves a couple of men behind to care for Glass until his seemingly inevitable death. Under the care of John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the young Bridger (Will Poulter) and his own son, Glass fights to survive so that he can keep his son safe.
The journey Glass is about to embark on is both literal and metaphorical; it is both a struggle to survive the wild and a struggle to get to a better place for all involved. Can Glass survive the elements and those who would do him harm? Or will a cold and icy grave be a final resting place for the man trying to do the best by his son in an endless barrage of misery?
Amazingly well shot, The Revenant is a vicious and beautiful film for the senses. From the gritty and horrifyingly real bear attack to the struggle for survival and finding your next meal from a freshly killed animal, the film finds a way to make you squirm and envelopes you in the moment.
DiCaprio needs little dialogue in his journey and instead it is his facial expressions and body language that tell the story. Hardy steals a number of scenes as the member of the team who can’t quite be placed. One moment he appears positive and the next he is a monster, but he makes every moment believable.
The endless barrage of violent sequences can be hard to watch, and keep me from a true love affair with the film. There is no question this journey for survival will live on through the ages, but not all will feel comfortable with the graphic, realistic nature of the film.
The beauty of an unspoiled American wilderness and great acting along with the story of survival against all odds win out in the end in this moving portrayal of true devotion.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter
Director: Alejandro González Inárritu
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