Leonardo DiCaprio’s frontier tracker, Hugh Glass, battles the elements and man in
director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest film “The Revenant.”
Add Mr. DiCaprio’s character to the list of notable outdoor’s man in cinema history with what he goes through in the film. The definition of revenant is a noun to use in meaning to return, and Leo does that in all sorts of way physically and mentally.
While he’s not leading a pelt expedition headed by Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) and avoiding ambushes from Native Americans, he also has to ensure they get back to fort to sell the merchandise.
There’s a rival French trading company led by Toussaint (Fabrice Adde). His character is to exemplify how the trekkers took advantage of the native in regards to their dealing and bartering of goods and services.
Mr. Inarritu brings elements of his prior film in “Birdman” with the long and extreme close-up shots before expanding to the scene he’s trying to setup. This is used to show the wilderness whether it’d be the running streams, vast woodlands and majestic mountaintops. Both films involve a man going on a journey to discover themselves.
He brings the audience to a standstill by setting up a showdown between the expedition crew and indigenous people showing the risks the traders go through in their line of work. If not surviving an ambush is not enough, Mr. DiCaprio has an intense confrontation with a bear, that leaves him barely alive. The film goes to show what effects a bear can inflict upon man in regards to its girth and its strength.
In his time of need, he relies on the assistance of his deceased beloved played by Grace Dove. This is setup in flashbacks he has of her and explains how he become the sole guardian to his son, Hawk (Forest Goodluck), who’s half American Indian and half Caucasian. The film touches this point in which father and son have the conversation of adapting and surviving in the world that still unfortunately rings true today in society.
After barely surviving a bear fight, the crew makes the decision to leave Glass behind as they can not carry him back to town. Looking after Glass, until he passes way are fellow crewmembers
John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Bridger (Will Poulter) who will be paid more for their services to remain behind.
Mr. Hardy’s character serves as the physical foil besides the land that Leo has to go through and its hidden surprises and the elements of the weather. Fitzgerald is an opportunists whose only care is to be paid for his services and takes offense when he’s left unheard. The only victim besides Glass who’s left for dead is his son Hawk who’s killed in the process when Fitzgerald abandons his duties.
Leo’s character goes through all this within the hour and the remaining part of the film is ensuring his survival and going after the man that killed his son. The film is composed of four different vignettes: The first aforementioned with Leo’s character going through the wilderness and the second being Fitzgerald and Bridger attempting to get back into town..
The film focuses less slightly on the remaining members of the group attemping to head back into town without its navigator Glass. Another storyline focuses on the Native Americans led by
Elk Dog (Duane Howard) looking for his daughter Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk’o).
Mr. Iñárritu gets accolades for using actual natives as opposed to merely paying lip service by hiring other actors to portray the roles. Also the individuals that were hired on in the film are also newcomers to the film industry. He brings awareness to the audience the culture and of the lost language of the tribes of the once noble people.
As the writer of the film, he brings to light a topic of the treatment of the Native Americans at the hands of those looking for riches by usurping their land and resources.He also focuses on the universal theme of a father attempting to protect his son in this wilderness thriller. In the end, Mr. DiCaprio’s character is a man who returns from extenuating circumstances who has lost all with nothing to gain in the end but revenge.
Classification: In Theaters
Movie Grade: 4 stars out of 5 stars
Leo DiCaprio is an actor goes through a lot as the frontier tracker, Hugh Glass, in writer/director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest film focusing on the wilds of the outdoors and getting revenge for the death of his son.
Rating: R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.
Timing: 2 Hours, 36 Minute
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Western.
Director& Screenplay: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Screenplay: Mark L. Smith
Parts of the novel: Michael Punke
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Duane Howard,
Fabrice Adde, Melaw Nakehk’o, Grace Dove and Forest Goodluck.