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The Revenant

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

United States, 2015

HOME, 16 January 2016

The Revenant

This brutal and beautiful film frequently takes your breath away.

The tone is set right from the start: a rapid-fire Indian attack on a team of pelt hunters. Arrows appear through face and neck and heart. Death comes at once, without warning.

Some hunters are able to escape, scampering along the river and through the woods. Then their scout, a tracker named Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), is attacked by a bear. He is a burden to take along, so two men, one of them Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), stay behind to tend to him and bury him when he dies. For his injuries are surely fatal.

And here is the problem: Glass is strong and means to survive. The Indians are coming close, closer still. They, Fitzgerald and his helper, decide to kill Glass and be on their way. Better two survive than none. Only… Glass does not stay dead.

You see in Glass a man red in tooth and claw, doing anything to survive. There is one scene where he disembowels his dead horse, takes out its internal organs, and climbs inside it to keep warm.

It is a revenge drama – many people, including the Indians, are seeking some sort of revenge – played out in a bleak and beautiful landscape of snow and forest, river and ice, mountain and plain. The vast majesty of nature dwarfs human desire.