Thanks to the warnings from friends and all the critics reviews for The Revenant, I was mentally prepared for all the rough scenes I can imagine in the era of American frontier. Yet I still cringe so hard for a lot of scenes, because everything that happens in this film is so brutal that I have to keep turning my head to focus on the strangers beside me. But don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this film from the beginning to the end.
I don’t want to spoil anything, so I will just briefly talk about the plot. It is based on a historical frontiersman Hugo Glass, and his most famous story is how he survived a bear attack and managed to cross 200 miles of American land to find the nearest American settlement. The Revenant heavily focus on the conflicts between the Native Americans and the West expansions, and it has a pretty straightforward storyline of Hugo’s path of revenge for his son.
Despite the brutal bear attack to surviving all the extreme weather conditions, the cinematography of this film is simply breathtaking. Every view of the nature is a beautifully shot image, and some of the scenes are similar to the experimental movie The Tree of Life starring Brad Pitt , Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain in 2011. I am not saying The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is copying anybody. I just want to praise both of the movies have the best cinematography I have ever seen on screen.
One of my favorite scene is when Hugo (starring Leonardo Dicaprio) is having surreal dream that he stands in a church with trees in between, and it was simply beautiful. From the start of the film, there are words of Hugo’s native American wife constantly whispering these words through out the movie when Hugo was defeated by the brutal weathers, animals, and humans:
“As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe. Keep breathing. When there is a storm and you stand in front of a tree, if you look at its branches, you swear it will fall. But if you watch the trunk, you will see its stability.”
The scarce of the love Hugo has for his family is beautifully illustrates in this scene.
The Revenant is more than just a rough film with bloody scenes. Despite the wonderful casting of all the great actors and actresses (Tom Hardy!!), it captures the beauty of mother nature and the love of humans. On the other hand, it also addresses how cruel our earth can be ( severe snowstorm, rivers, and animals). It also shows how ugly hatred, racism, lying, cheating, betraying can come from human beings when we are very much capable to love.
Congratulations to the big success of this movie, and big props to the director and best actor Leonardo Dicaprio! You guys truly deserve it !