Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) struggles to stay warm during a vicious winter (Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation).
Gritty and Gruesome But Very Good
When “Django Unchained” starring Leonardo DiCaprio came out in theaters, I went on record as stating that the movie came off as offensive because it made that era look like one big comedy hour.
I thought that depiction of the 1800s should have been more raw and authentic.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
“The Revenant” is a similar story of revenge, but it is beyond raw in its depiction of the “unsophisticated” 1800s.
The film starring DiCaprio is gritty, grimy, and gruesome, but a very inspirational tale of survival and love for one’s family.
Back in the infancy of America, trade between Americans, French, British and Native Americans was commonplace.
The trade of pelt fur was especially lucrative during the frontier days.
Glass (DiCaprio) has experienced the turbulence of those rough days. But he is determined to make a good life for his half Pawnee Indian son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck).
They join a crew of animal hunters who get paid handsomely for the animal fur.
However, their operation is seriously wounded after a vicious attack by the Pawnee Indians, leaving many dead and many dollars lost after the theft of much of the fur.
Despite the animosity that some like Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) hold towards Glass because of his close connection with the Pawnee tribe, the crew has to keep him around and follow his lead. This is so because he is the only one who knows the terrain and can keep them safe from further attacks.
However, when Glass is brutally attacked by a bear his future is uncertain.
And since the crew finds it nearly impossible to carry him through the unfamiliar land, the company pays his son Hawk, Fitzgerald and Bridger (Will Poulter) an extra $300 to keep him comfortable until he dies and to give him a proper burial when the time comes.
However, when he is left for dead by his colleagues, Glass is determined to reconnect with his former allies and seek revenge for all that they have done to him.
“The Revenant” is extremely graphic and some of the animal attack scenes are a little too real to say the least.
But DiCaprio’s performance is the realest of the real.
For many scenes he carries “The Revenant” with raw emotion and few words, only grunts to highlight his pain from the brutal bear attack.
Hardy enters Wesley Snipes-“New Jack City” territory with a heartless performance as the nemesis Fitzgerald.
His diversity as an actor is amazing and he almost performs on equal footing with the star, DiCaprio.
The snow scenes in “The Revenant” are beautiful and the shots of the hills are exquisite.
Nevertheless, “The Revenant” might be too gritty, gruesome and grimy for some to watch.
It is extremely bloody and violent to say the least.
“The Revenant” will undoubtedly get many Academy Award nominations.
Thus far, it is the only film to come close to “Everest” in the cinematography category.
Nevertheless, if “Django Unchained” was a Candy Land type amusement park ride for DiCaprio, “The Revenant” is a real-life roller coaster with all of the pain and horror that life dishes out.