Movie Review: "The Revenant"
We went to see “The Revenant” yesterday. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but what it turned out to be what a long film, shot in the Canadian wilderness—in winter—with a lot of snow and cold. And a lot of suffering. A lot guys killing each other, sometimes with rifles, sometimes with arrows.
The movie is set in the 1820s with a fur trapping expedition in the part of the Louisiana Purchase that would later become South Dakota. There is friction between the trappers and the locals, specifically, the Arikara (also referred to as Arikaree or Ree), who raid the camp at the beginning of the film. Roughly half the trappers survive, escaping down the river on a boat with some of the pelts.
The raid is not random, as it turns out, nor are the Arikara simply stealing the pelts because they can. The Arikara chief, Elk Dog, is looking for his daughter who has been kidnapped. The trappers don’t have her—indeed, have no knowledge of her, but that doesn’t matter.
While the trappers flee the Arikara, and also the Pawnee, a grizzly bear mauls the one man who knows the country, Hugh Glass. He eventually is left behind for the sake of the rest of the expedition, but not without betrayal, lies and outright murder. However, Glass is not quite dead yet. And survives, sometimes crawling on his belly, to tell the tale.
This is a grim, sad story with a hard-won moral at the end. A real human being would have died a dozen times enduring the things Hugh Glass went through. And a lot of horses didn’t come through too well, either. It is based in part on a novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke. The novel, in turn, is based on the actual events. Hugh Glass was a historical person, but I'd lay good odds he wouldn't recognize himself in this story.
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Hugh Glass
Tom Hardy ... John Fitzgerald
Domhnall Gleeson ... Captain Andrew Henry
Will Poulter ... Bridger
Forrest Goodluck ... Hawk (Hugh Glass's son)
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