Coming to theaters from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and 20th Century Fox is a film inspired by true events with the will to live of “The Revenant.”
Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a hunter and trapper working with Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). Along with his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) they search for any animal with a pelt that can be sold. Out taking down an elk, the camp is viciously attacked by Indians and the men, along with Bridger (Will Poulter) and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) get to the boats and escape.
A plan is forged to hide the pelts under rocks and send the boat down the river with the men who died to throw off their attackers. Captain Henry and Glass work out the route as Fitzgerald tries to rally the survivors into his mode of thinking about what should happen. When told to back down, he does so begrudgingly.
Beginning the journey back to the fort, Glass takes point clearing the way for the others. Instantly he is attacked by a bear and when the group finds him, Captain Henry jumps into action trying to save his life. Hawk stays with his father every minute to keep his focus on survival. Putting him on a wooden stretcher, the men try to get Glass back to the fort.
As a blizzard bears down on the group it becomes clear that Glass can not make the trip back. It is decided that Hawk will stay behind with his father along with Bridger to wait for help to come back. Surprising Captain Henry, Fitzgerald agrees to stay behind as well.
As the days go by Fitzgerald becomes more and more agitated and a plan to walk away from the situation forces Bridger to make a decision that will haunt him. What Fitzgerald doesn’t expect is Glass’ determination to live, even with an angry band of Pawnee following and the elements determined to end his life.
DiCaprio as Glass is stunning — and a million more descriptors — pick one and you won’t be wrong! This character is deep, burdened, scared, protective, loving in his own way, smart, a survivor and has the potential for serious revenge. I was riveted thoroughly watching this actor go from a lump of barely surviving flesh to a man having everything taken from him using that as a motivator to survive. Each challenge put in front of him brought out the frontier MacGyver that had me nodding my head with every move he made. From one scene to the next DiCaprio shows what many of us have known about this talented actor, give him a role with grit and stand back! Of course there is talk of this being an Oscar performance and for once I could not agree more. With the thin years of films with serious backbone, “The Revenant” is what the big gold dude is all about. If they don’t hand it to him then I can guarantee the screaming in the wind you hear is me!
Hardy as Fitzgerald gives this character every ounce of evil making it easy to dislike this character to the point of wanting to throw something at the big screen. Once again the descriptor of despicable only scratch the surface of this character that has no conscience or sense of decency. Once you see the film please feel free to add to the huge list I already have going. Hardy also brings a presence to the film that will be memorable for some time to come, at least by me.
Gleeson as Captain Henry is a man who wants to do right by those who rely on him. Trusting Fitzgerald was his first mistake and believing was his second. Gleeson has certainly made a name for himself in recent films such as CALVARY (which I
loved), EX MACHINA, BROOKLYN, STAR WARS: The Force Awakens and now “The Revenant”. He will be returning to his role as General Hux in the next installment of STAR WARS: Episode VIII.
Poulter as Bridger portrays a young man who followed his leaders. Easy manipulated by Fitzgerald, the cover up between the two men leaves Bridger with guilt. Coming up from his days in Narnia, Poulter has chosen such diverse roles from action and adventure to comedy with WE’RE THE MILLERS IN 2013. Goodluck as Hawk is Glass’ son who is caught up in a world that doesn’t see him as a human being. Even Fitzgerald tries to get under the young mans skin with the constant barraging.
Other cast include: Lukas Haas as Jones, Paul Anderson as Anderson, Kristoffer Joner as Murphy, Joshua Burge as Stubby Bill., Melaw Nakehk’o as Powaqa, Fabrice Adde as Toussaint, Christopher Rosamond as Boone, Brendan Fletcher as Fryman, Tyson Wood as Weston, McCaleb Burnett as Beckett and Anthony Starlight as Arikara Chief.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Revenant” five tubs of popcorn out of five. First of all ‘revenant’ is a person who has returned as if from the dead and I let you know this because there could be no other title for this film. I walked away with a sense of total awe for this film with a cast that is stellar from beginning to end. Against the backdrop of
a harsh and unforgiving landscape, this story has little to offer in the way of solace for each character.
It beautifully shot by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who was also cinematographer for BIRDMAN (2014), GRAVITY (2013) and CHILDREN OF MEN (2006), with continual one shot scenes. To cut away would have completely taken away from the experience and I’m so thankful Lubezki was there to make it happen.
Director Inarritu takes a jarring tale that begs the question, in a story with Indians, animals, brutal weather and trappers — who is the true savage? The screen offers moments of majestic beauty before snapping you back into a shocking and ruthless reality for the main character.
By the films end I felt battered and drained of every emotion possible and thrilled at the same time. DiCaprio is the team leader in this powerful and amazing piece of filmmaking. Coming in at 156 minutes, there isn’t a second to be missed. Seriously people, if you don’t see the amazing beauty of this film we may not be able to continue being friends (j/k of course, maybe!)
In the end — blood lost and life found!