18 January 2016

Revenant

There's a scene in the second half of "The Revenant" when, in order to survive the night, frontiersman Hugh Glass removes the innards from his just dead horse and climbs inside the rib cage to sleep. Glass is played superbly by Leonardo DiCaprio in a film that pulses with physicality.

Davy Crockett may have been "the king of the wild frontier" but I am sure that his particular frontier was sugar-coated. In contrast, the wild frontier created by director Alejandro G. Iñárritu is truly wild, brutal and yet sometimes breathlessly beautiful. In this landscape, white men are seeking their fortunes as fur trappers while native American tribes battle to hang on to their vanishing world. It is cold and the pine forests are tall. Icy rivers run through the mountains and wild animals stalk this challenging  wilderness.

DiCaprio as Glass seeks revenge for the needless murder of his son. His quarry is the amoral, opportunist - Fitzgerald played by Tom Hardy. Like Christian in John Bunyan's "A Pilgrim's Progress" Glass has many trials to face as he pursues his vengeful destiny - not least of which is a fearsome attack by a huge grizzly bear.

Throughout "The Revenant" you hear DiCaprio's heavy breathing, his grunting, his pain. It is a remarkable performance, enhanced by Iñárritu's vision and the team he gathered around him to make this marvel of modern cinematography. If Leonardo does not receive the best actor award at this year's Oscars, then I will eat my hat which is by the way a woollen Hull City beanie.

31 comments:

  1. I had to look up that definition myself, Mr. Pudding. I would like to see the movie, but not when I am freezing everyday in my own outdoors every day. (Although today we are to get above freezing.) Maybe we will see it in the spring or summer!

    I, however, will be boycotting the Oscar awards show in my own way. Since not one person of color has been nominated this year in any meaningful category.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hang on. Hang on Mama Thyme. Plenty of people of colour are up for oscars this year - and the colours? Florida tan, Seychelles brown and Colorado blue.

      Delete
  2. Interesting review
    Cant say that im looking forward to it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As a film lover it is your duty to see "The Revenant" John.

      Delete
  3. Hmmm. This movie sounds suspiciously similar to Jeremiah Johnson that starred Robert Redford many years ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps but the technology of modern filming makes the very landscape an awesome character in this film.

      Delete
    2. I have to admit I didn't see much besides Robert Redford in those days.

      Delete
  4. I do hope DiCaprio receives the Oscar for this role. From all I've read and seen about his performance he surely deserves it. The physicality of playing the role must have been horrendous at times. And at times they had only one hour to get the filming done...the director demanded the right lighting...and that was it...one hour. Such dedication was put into the making of this film. I really am looking forward to seeing it, even knowing it's not an "easy" movie...if you know what I mean. And I'm sure you do, having already seen it yourself, Yorkie.

    I've always like Tom Hardy, too. The first time I saw him that I recall was back in 2009 in the TV series "The Take"...and he was a stand-out in that. He really made me sit up and pay attention. And shortly after "The Take" I saw him as a very brooding Heathcliff in the televised version of "Wuthering Heights".

    Thanks for your review, Yorkie. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Lee. This isn't "Sliding Doors" or "Sense and Sensibility". Some might say that it is a man's film. It will be interesting to hear your reaction when the film reaches Queensland - probably in 2023?

      Delete
    2. I am aware of that, Yorkie. I have more sense and sensibility than you believe I do! So you're wasting your time having a "go" at me! :)

      "The Revenant" was released here in dear, young Queensland on 7th January....2016.

      Delete
    3. Oh, my goodness! I've just discovered the movie..."The Revenant"... was released here in Australia eight days before it was released in the UK!!!

      Delete
    4. Surely that cannot be! Someone has made a big mistake over this and heads will roll!

      Delete
  5. Your review is very good, but I am not sure I want to see the film. As Lee says, it is not an "easy" one, and most of the time that easiness is just what I am looking for in a film. I'm just not very good at dark, sad, difficult stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, try "Bambi" Miss Arian. I think you'll like that one.

      Delete
    2. No!!! I've watched it as a kid and remember when Bambi's mother died... I cried for hours!

      Delete
    3. You are far too soft! If you have a microwave oven, try watching that for a couple of hours.

      Delete
    4. Hahaha! That's funny, but Bambi really was a tear-jerky. The death of an animal, even an animated one, gets me every time!

      Delete
    5. Meant to say "tear jerker" not "tear jerky" lol!

      Delete
    6. Gets me, too. Even worse: Dumbo. Oh, man. Poor little guy....sniff.

      Delete
  6. Di Caprio has his heart set on an Oscar and this looks like his best shot. I'm not sure if climbing inside a dead horse will do the trick - it didn't work for Luke Skywalker when he huddled inside that Tauntaun in the Empire Strikes Back.

    The Revenant definition is almost correct, except that I feel pretty sure that the return after death is to seek revenge. Di Caprio doesn't actually die first, but it isn't for the want of trying I believe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am unable to comment on your reference to Luke Skywalker as I have never watched a "Star Wars" film.

      Delete
    2. Tsk, tsk. Seven Oscars and 22 nominations should mean something to you.

      Delete
    3. Yes. Sci-fi bollix for the masses.

      Delete
  7. OK, I suppose I should go see this movie. You've talked me into it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It shouldn't be a chore Steve! If you prefer, stay home and pour tins of stew in the new crock pot.

      Delete
  8. I'm quite sure that this is an excellent film and I'm equally sure that it's one I will not be watching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I didn't "sell it" to you Graham. Perhaps I should have reviewed "Frozen" instead!

      Delete
  9. I'll probably end up seeing it after it's on Netflix. My husband doesn't care to go to movie theaters, and my one friend that might usually be game to go is very, very pregnant and probably wouldn't be up to seeing this kind of film right now.

    I noticed last night at work, while setting up our paperback bestseller bay, that The Revenant was originally a book. I imagine that with the environment playing such a major role in the story that the movie might actually be better than the book in this case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The director went to great lengths to capture wild nature in all its glory. I don't think it will be quite the same on a TV set Jennifer.

      Delete
  10. I thought this film was awful and laughable. It is based on the premise that the injured trapper is a superhero, for whom no injury or hardship is too excessive. The dialogue is terrible, nothing more than grunts, and the message is that burning revenge can overcome any pain, injury or cold. As an occasional camper and hiker I found it annoying and silly because of the unfeasible things that Di Caprio's character pulls off. Anyone who's been on a scout camp will know how difficult it is to start and maintain a fire - it takes ages to collect dry firewood to keep the fire going. And yet our crippled hero is able to get a roaring fire going and it is still burning when he wakes up! Likewise his dips in icy rivers. I once got near frostbite of the feet from just a 3 minute immersion in a glacial stream up to my ankles. Di Caprio is able to swim in an iced-up river despite being starving, terribly injured and exhausted. Defenders of this film say it is a true story. No it's not, it's loosely based on a much embroidered frontier yarn - check out the real story. If you think Bear Ghrylls is an outdoorsman of note you will like this film. I thought it was a joke.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.