Opinion : The Revenant

SPOILER ALERT

Let me start by saying, I liked it. There got that out of the way.  I think a lot of the rave reviews I have not only read online, but have been given by friends and family have been slightly overblown. Not to say it doesn’t deserve praise but I think a lot of people realized it was an artsy movie with some philosophical themes and decided that it must be a great movie because it made you think deep thoughts about life and death and stuff. It was a very good movie, but I doubt it will go down as a classic, though I admit only time will tell. It was beautifully filmed and the idea to only use natural lighting was great. The way the sun, shadows and fire light illuminated a scene really added a since of realism and authenticity to the environment. The action sequences I though were choreographed very well and lent a sense of frenzy to many of the more intense moments of the film such as the bear attack and the ambush at the beginning of the movie. I found Tom Hardy’s character, Fitzgerald, very compelling, and in many ways more so than DiCaprio’s character. The idea that he is a man with a troubled past, it is shown he was scalped at some point, who just wants to make some money and is not truly, in my opinion, a pure evil man. I wish they would have played up the moment when he stabbed the dude’s son a little bit, maybe make it seem like an accident or have Hardy show a little remorse or something. Bottom line that particular scene seemed to be over too fast which is a shame because it was a great opportunity to show a little more depth in both the main characters. Personal gripe, I had a hard time deciphering what Tom Hardy was saying sometimes, probably just me as I have not seen anyone else complaining about it and my hearing isn’t great so yeah like I said might just be me. Our protagonist Hugh Glass, played by DiCaprio, however seemed very one dimensional he wants revenge and misses his family and likes the Native Americans, that is about it to his character. Leo did a great job with the character that being said. It must be very hard to portray someone in intense pain which Glass was for the majority of the film and Leo did a great job of that. Alright time for some general gripes that bothered me through out the whole film. The biggest one that bothered me the most was how quickly the main character seemed to heal. That bear attack scene makes it extremely likely Glass would have had multiple broken bones most notable his arm and one of his legs. The leg is later shown being set showing that at minimum he has a broken leg apart from the claw and tooth wounds. Yet in what seems like just a few days Glass can be seen running, falling of cliffs, riding horses and several other things anyone who has ever broken a bone knows is impossible. The real Hugh Glass (yes this movie is loosely based on a true story) took six weeks to make it back and he had to crawl most of the way. Either this was a severe oversight on the writer and directors part or the audience is meant to believe more time transpired than was shown, but as most of the scenes are displayed sequentially it is really not apparent that any more than a few days have passed, a week at most. This is really a major flaw as it broke my suspension of disbelief and pulled me out of the story making me wonder if I had some how wandered into a super hero movie by mistake. The film takes place in winter yet characters are constantly wading and floating down rivers with reckless abandon. This may not seem out of place to most people, but anyone who has spent significant amount of time outdoors knows that cold and wet is a great recipe for hypothermia or frostbite. No one in the movie ever seems to suffer from or even be concerned about these things. In fact in my experience I would say Glass was in more danger from hypothermia after his float down the river than he ever was since surviving the bear attack. Moving on I was mildly annoyed by his constant dream sequences they were too frequent and weird. I fail to see the significance of why his wife had to be floating over him, and it actually made me giggle inside a little remembering a similar scene in Ghostbusters. If they had been done a bit more like the scenes from Gladiator, I would have appreciated it more. Less frequent and more normal would have been better. My final grip is that the whole daughter of the chief plot was unnecessary it added nothing to the film. Any Native American attacks could have been easily attributed to the fact that a lot of tribes didn’t like whitey stealing their land, and it could have been left at that without the need for random back story with no depth. All in all I thought it was a good movie and thoroughly enjoyed it though I doubt I would watch it again.

-SMS

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