Left for dead, son killed, fueled by anger and running from bears.
“The Revenant” is a meditation on revenge in the new frontier. While walking the line between being a Western and a wilderness survival film, DiCaprio keeps the effort on point. It’s also a funny film with Tom Hardy’s character trading barbs in a way that I’ve never seen Hardy deliver in a film. I guess all of that was meant to set up what was coming. Dear Lord, I read the book and the visual adaptation of that work hit me in the guts.
Whether it was the vicious bear attack, the maggots, the open grave or the horse fall…you’re not ready for this. Some might say that the film is a basic revenge plot, but revenge tales are usually just that. It’s in the hero’s fight to survive and move through Hell to have justice. If the film hadn’t been based on a true story, it might be seen as basic fantasy.
However, the man lived and treated his many gaping holes with maggots and the kindness of local natives. It’s just that this isn’t a film concerned with reality or what makes moral sense. This is the most aggressively masculine movie given a mainstream release since “The Grey”. The connections between the two are funny in hindsight, as I guess this is what represents men on film now. Needless to say, the cinematography already won the Oscar before the first reel ended.
Nobody in the industry is working at the level that Emmanuel Lubezki has been operating at for the last three years. Much like “Bone Tomahawk” and “The Hateful Eight”, this won’t be a film for everyone. But, it will connect with the right people. Don’t be one of those that discovers it on home video or cable and then tries to bandwagon.
RELEASE DATE: 12/25/2015 (limited) 01/08/2016 (wide)