Movie Review: “The Revenant”

“The Revenant” is a cinematographic masterpiece about a resilient father who will stop at nothing to avenge his murdered son. 

The film is set in the 1820s in the unsettled forests of the vast Louisiana Purchase. During an expedition, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his fur trapping party are violently ambushed by the Arikara tribe. Most of the hunting party, with the exception of Glass, his son, Hawk, and a few others, manage to escape. In the aftermath, Glass is mauled by a grizzly bear and left behind to be cared for by his son, Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) and the decidedly sinister John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy).

Fitzgerald attempts to kill Glass to speed up their expedition, but Hawk catches him in the act. Fitzgerald kills Hawk in front Hugh and convinces Bridger that Hawk is missing. The injured Glass, now alone, is faced with a renewed sense of purpose — to track Fitzgerald down to avenge the death of his son.

DiCaprio delivers an Oscar-worthy performance, and the film’s quality is enhanced by the stunning cinematography. Hardy should also not go unnoticed as well for his performance as a conniving frontiersman. The only issue with the film is the inflated runtime — over three hours.

This film is based on a true story chronicles Glass’ survival story, but the film also includes changing landscape of the American West. An important theme of the film is the dissolution of North America’s native tribes and the subsequent transition of power to white settlers. By the 1820s, the film confirms that there is a power struggle between the native tribes and white settlers over land, natural resources, and animals.

In his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, DiCaprio emphasized the importance of improving relations with Native American tribes.

Moviegoers will enjoy this film because of the harrowing action, gritty realism, and uncompromising performances of DiCaprio and Hardy.

3.5/ 4 stars