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The revenant, common sense media reviewers.
Heavy, punishing violence in DiCaprio's revenge Western.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This is a revenge movie, with no other character t
While Hugh Glass is sympathetic for the way he app
Men are shot through with arrows, and various body
Brief full-frontal male nudity. Brief innuendo.
"F--k" and "s--t" are used many times, plus "Jesus
Whisky drinking in a background way.
Parents need to know that The Revenant is a revenge Western that's full of brutal, punishing violence. The main character (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) overcomes crippling wounds, hunger, cold, and pain to find the man who killed his son; he's often shown in great agony. Characters are also shot with arrows…
This is a revenge movie, with no other character traits in evidence other than the hero's dogged pursuit and the villain's greed and cowardice. In the end, the need to see that revenge through to the end personally is questioned.
Positive Role Models
While Hugh Glass is sympathetic for the way he appreciates nature and doesn't judge people by race -- and his skills as a frontiersman are undoubtedly impressive -- his main role in the film is seeking vengeance.
Violence & Scariness
Men are shot through with arrows, and various body parts are hit (faces, limbs, etc.). Bloody wounds and gory corpses. A brutal bear attack includes with slamming and biting. Guns and shooting; stabbing. Burning homestead. A woman is killed while her son watches. A woman is raped. Characters are scalped. A character suffers great agony -- cauterizing wounds, starving, etc. Wolves attack a buffalo. Characters eat raw, bloody meat. Characters are hung in nooses from trees. A horse and rider fall over a cliff; a smashed, broken horse corpse is sliced open. Avalanche.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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"F--k" and "s--t" are used many times, plus "Jesus Christ," the "N" word (in reference to American Indians), "t-ts," "son of a bitch," "piss," "ass," and "balls."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Revenant is a revenge Western that's full of brutal, punishing violence. The main character (played by Leonardo DiCaprio ) overcomes crippling wounds, hunger, cold, and pain to find the man who killed his son; he's often shown in great agony. Characters are also shot with arrows and guns, mauled by bears, and fall over cliffs. Blood, gore, and wounds are shown, as are dead bodies (both human and animal). A woman is raped. Language is also very strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. There's a brief moment of full-frontal male nudity, and some whisky drinking is shown. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .
Where to Watch
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- Parents say (28)
- Kids say (76)
Based on 28 parent reviews
What's the story.
In the early 1800s, a fur-trapping expedition is brutally attacked by American Indians, and leader Henry ( Domhnall Gleeson ) decides to ditch their haul and return home. The group's survival depends heavily on Hugh Glass ( Leonardo DiCaprio ), an experienced explorer who was once married to a Pawnee woman and had a son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), with her. When Glass is brutally mauled by a bear, the greedy, cowardly John Fitzgerald ( Tom Hardy ) and young Jim Bridger ( Will Poulter ) are left behind with Hawk to look after Glass -- and, if he dies, to give him a decent burial. Unfortunately, Fitzgerald kills Hawk and hits the road with Bridger. Against all odds, Glass fights for life until he's able to travel, find Fitzgerald, and exact his revenge.
Is It Any Good?
This revenge Western boasts a committed performance by DiCaprio and extraordinary cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki. Lubezki -- who also shot The Tree of Life , Gravity , and Birdman -- gives THE REVENANT a fully immersive, dimensional look, with jaw-dropping long takes and strikingly physical realism. And for his part, DiCaprio does punishing work, truly putting himself through the ringer for his art.
For a while, it's easy to be carried away by all of this -- until we realize that Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu doesn't quite have enough to say and that the movie, at 2 hours and 36 minutes, is an long attempt to add weight and profundity to a pulp Western. Some of the story turns are overly familiar, and the supporting characters are thin. Add to that a high level of sheer brutality, and The Revenant , while well made, certainly isn't for everyone.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about The Revenant 's violence . What effect does the brutal, punishing violence have? In what ways is it necessary to the story? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
What's the appeal of revenge stories? What happens when Glass finally reaches the end of his quest? Is it satisfying? What does he accomplish?
What's the appeal of the Western genre? Why do you think it's less popular today than it used to be?
Glass manages to survive against all odds, injured, in the wilderness. Does that make him inspiring? Do his skills make you want to learn more about survival?
- In theaters : December 25, 2015
- On DVD or streaming : April 19, 2016
- Cast : Leonardo DiCaprio , Tom Hardy , Domhnall Gleeson
- Director : Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
- Inclusion Information : Latino directors
- Studio : Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
- Genre : Action/Adventure
- Topics : History
- Run time : 156 minutes
- MPAA rating : R
- MPAA explanation : strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity
- Awards : Academy Award , Golden Globe
- Last updated : June 29, 2023
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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2015, Adventure/Western, 2h 36m
What to know
As starkly beautiful as it is harshly uncompromising, The Revenant uses Leonardo DiCaprio's committed performance as fuel for an absorbing drama that offers punishing challenges -- and rich rewards. Read critic reviews
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The revenant videos, the revenant photos.
While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member (Tom Hardy) of his hunting team kills his young son (Forrest Goodluck) and leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, the legendary fur trapper treks through the snowy terrain to track down the man who betrayed him.
Rating: R (Brief Nudity|A Sexual Assault|Violence|Gory Images|Language|Strong Frontier Combat)
Genre: Adventure, Western
Original Language: English
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Producer: Arnon Milchan , Steve Golin , Alejandro González Iñárritu , Mary Parent , Keith Redmon , James W. Skotchdopole
Writer: Mark L. Smith , Alejandro González Iñárritu
Release Date (Theaters): Jan 8, 2016 wide
Release Date (Streaming): Mar 22, 2016
Box Office (Gross USA): $183.6M
Runtime: 2h 36m
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Production Co: Appian Way, New Regency Pictures, M Prods, Anonymous Content
Sound Mix: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, SDDS, Datasat
Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)
Cast & Crew
Captain Andrew Henry
Dave Stomach Wound
Wife of Hugh Glass
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Mark L. Smith
James W. Skotchdopole
Jennifer Davisson Killoran
News & Interviews for The Revenant
Tom Hardy’s 10 Best Movies
On DVD This Week: The Revenant , Silicon Valley , Ip Man 3 , and More
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Critic Reviews for The Revenant
Audience reviews for the revenant.
Exceptionally beautiful direction and screenplay by Iñárritu. Superb cinematography. Poignant soundtrack. Brilliant performances (although Hardy's mumbling was difficult to discern oftimes). Fantastic costumes and sound. There's nothing not to love about this graceful, poetic and haunting film.
After being attacked by a bear, Hugh Glass must survive the perils of the wilderness and avenge the murder of his son. Brutal and raw, Leonardo DiCaprio's incredible performance deserves all its accolades, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is at top form, crafting an adventure that I wish more blockbusters would imitate. There's real tension in the conflicts, and the action scenes aren't jump-cutted to incomprehensible death. The second act is a little long, and I could've done without so many shots that jerk off to trees and sky. Overall, one of the best films of the year, this is a great adventure story.
As much as I really didn't care for his Oscar winning picture 'Birdman " Director Alejandro Gonzalez Innarito put together and presented A motion picture movie with a compelling combination of beautiful, brutality and compelling acting performances that I can remember in a film picture in some time. Inarritu brought long natural light, brilliant camera-tracking shots, placement that makes specific scenes take on an impressive sense of real. I was afraid that the appealing trailers may give away too much ongoing with this film, but once you see it all the way thru, there was much more meat on the bone to chew - Revenant is a western set film that is so intense on Survival and Revenge. I was getting myself prepared for a slow start and even slower character-developing as the movie progresses , but I got anything but that. It starts out brutally violent and blood gory,..in fact it literally " rains " with brutal graphic violence (remember how Saving Private Ryan war scene started out ?) there's an absolute impressive amount of attacks and escapes, and the motion and camera shots are always moving and enticing. I found myself constantly engaged anywhere from Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) to his son, to his comrades, to the surrounding area Much is going to talked about the Grizzly scene, which was as brutally savage and tantalizing as you can expect. And it's not a quick, clean brush with death either. It stretches and extends to you find yourself thinking ...."wow, when is this going to be over, ? " .....no way he is making it out of this "" .... the frame set of the camera doing this Bear scene is brilliant, just when you think, this has to be it, this has to be the end and this has to be a final escape, the brutal scene goes on, .and squeamish you are shown the bloody results of such an attack. DiCaprio's performance was outstanding from humble father and husband, to fallen victim who has to visually and physically experience a heart broken tragedy , to how he miraculousy finds a way to emerge from helplessness to a fierce never say die sole survivor who is relentless in his quest to not only survive but hunt for vengenance. I can't think of a more terrific acting performance by DiCaprio, that easily outshines his Gangs of New York, The Departure and Django Unchained. Revenant has a pace that can be compared to Castaway in that it has a mesmerizing slowness but it's unique in how it still engages and appeals to you. You can't pull away from it because of the creativity in either the characters, or how the way of survival, escapes or prey-hunting is being presented to you. John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) keeps another half of it going because he is brilliantly ruthless - almost to a babbling psycho nut presence. Fitzgerald can sabotage or turn on a friend or foe at any given moment and turn. And he is corky in how he does it. And you can eventually get to a hold of why Fitz thinks and feels the way he does and takes the course of action he does to alleviate the crucial revenge hunt. And just when you thought that would be the end of Glass's tragedies and heartbreaks he is about discover another in an unsuspecting friend. And there is eventually the finale which not only includes again some graphic violence but some turning strategic combat methods as well. Interesting the plot and story write of the Revenant is pretty simple, however the combination of acting performances , action sequences and camera work and cinematography will be on a cult classic for many decades to come. From the snowy woods and mountains, to the murky trees of the forest, from the river waters and falls , to the group camp scenes, and there is also a well done music score as well. i spoke much about the bear scene, but expect to be almost in awe with the horse scene as well. Frankly speaking I have no doubt in my mind that the Revenant will be going away with the Oscar come February and we could see awards given away for best actor, best director , best cinematography, and most definitely ... Best Picture. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd have to give the Revenant a 9.0
See more reviews like this at chrisbreviews.blogspot.com First things first, steer clear of this one if you don't like either of the following; This movie is LONG. 3 hours long (including ads and credits). AND It is VERY gory. There's excessive violence, a lot of blood, and quite confronting conflict. Right, if you're still here, let's get on with the actual movie quality. The plot moves along very slowly, with bursts of tense or action sequences in between watching DiCaprio crawling through snow. It depends on your perspective, but these scenes were probably inserted by Director Iñárritu to demonstrate Hugh's recovery and to emphasise the underlying theme of survival and perseverance. Don't see it if you've got a short attention span. But, the plot, aside from its excessive length, is truly brilliant. It centres around revenge and there is constantly something posing a threat to the main character, even in those dull moments the freezing temperature causes Glass to do some quick thinking. And the relentless barrage of threats over 3 hours truly emphasises his achievement of survival, makes audiences admire his sheer determination, and makes you root for this character the whole way. Even in its conclusion, you remember everything he's endured throughout the movie and be in awe of the character. It's truly an amazing story, and what makes it even more amazing is that it's based on true events. The CGI, Special effects, and make up are all exemplary. And there's a lot of opportunities for them to shine. The most impressive example of this is the bear that mauls Glass. But, even though its minor to many, one of the biggest things that annoy me is that everyone except the good guys seem to be horrible at aiming! There's a scene with Glass on a horse riding parallel to an army of Indians and not one of them hit him! So plot convenience was my biggest irritation. The cast is nearly entirely male; consisting of Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Lukas Haas, and Kristoffer Joner. Obviously we all know that DiCaprio is nominated for an Oscar for his performance, and he's a big chance at finally winning. If he doesn't earn it on this performance, he never will. Because he was brilliant, despite having no speech nearly the entire time. And he's stolen the spotlight, but I don't think Tom Hardy was given enough credit as he deserved. I learned over the 3 hours to despise him, and he was an integral element in the overall quality of this movie and DiCaprio's performance. Young Will Poulter wasn't too bad either as the naïve and scared young hunter. Hugh Glass was of course an incredibly interesting and well-developed character. We see flashbacks of his deceased wife and parents telling him to survive and push the limits no matter what. This same message is delivered to Glass's son, and we are reminded of it throughout the movie, but we don't need to be to see that's its obviously been deep-seeded in Glass. That and his desire for revenge allows him to persist and endure even in the closest of death experiences and when all seems lost. Even I felt hopeless for him yet he somehow gets back up again. Hardy's character Fitz doesn't seem to have enough motivation aside from some strange sense of racism to kill Glass's son and have an uncontrollable hate for Glass. That was a slight downfall. With plenty of time to kill, they included plenty of genres. They include action, adventure, biographical, drama, history, thriller, war, and western. The setting was in the 1820's American winter. We can't forget the fantastic themes that the movie was centralised around. These are themes of survival, perseverance, revenge, family, love, and murder. To conclude, I thought this was a brilliant film, and it's not just me that thinks so, with the film scoring a whopping 12 nominations including best picture, best actor in a leading role, best actor in a supporting role, cinematography (which I loved due to the panoramic tracking shots for extended periods during battle sequences), and directing. Unfortunately, it was just too long and had a few too many plot conveniences and a couple underdeveloped characters.
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Great film has the power to convey the unimaginable. We sit in the comfort of a darkened theater or our living room and watch protagonists suffer through physical and emotional pain that most of us can’t really comprehend. Too often, these endurance tests feel manipulative or, even worse, false. We’re smart enough to “see the strings” being pulled, and the actor and set never fades away into the character and condition. What’s remarkable about Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” is how effectively it transports us to another time and place, while always maintaining its worth as a piece of visual art. You don’t just watch “The Revenant,” you experience it. You walk out of it exhausted, impressed with the overall quality of the filmmaking and a little more grateful for the creature comforts of your life.
Iñárritu and co-writer Mark L. Smith set their tone early, staging a breathtaking assault on a group of fur trappers by Native Americans, portrayed not just as “enemies” but a violent force of nature. While a few dozen men are preparing to pack up and move on to their next stop in the great American wilderness, a scene out of “ Apocalypse Now ” unfolds. Arrows pierce air and flesh as the few surviving men flee to a nearby boat. It turns out that the tribe is seeking a kidnapped daughter of its leader, and will kill anyone who gets in their way. At the same time, we learn that one of the trappers, Hugh Glass ( Leonardo DiCaprio ) has a half-Native American son named Hawk (Forrest Goodluck).
Low on men and hunted, the expedition leader Andrew Henry ( Domhnall Gleeson ) orders that their crew return to its base, a fort in the middle of this snowy wilderness. John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) disagrees, and the seeds of dissent are planted. He doesn’t trust Henry, and he doesn’t like Glass. In the midst of these discussions, Glass is away from the crew one day when he’s brutally attacked by a bear—the sequence is, without hyperbole, one of the most stunning things I’ve seen on film in a long time, heart-racing and terrifying. Glass barely survives the attack. It seems highly unlikely that he’ll make it back to the base. With increasingly dangerous conditions and a tribe of killers on their heels, they agree to split up. Most of the men will go back first while Fitzgerald, Hawk and a young man named Bridger ( Will Poulter ) will get a sizable fee to stay with Glass until he dies, giving him as much comfort as possible in his final days and the burial he deserves.
Of course, Fitzgerald quickly tires of having to watch a man he doesn’t care about die. He kills Hawk in front of an immobile Glass and then basically buries Hugh alive. As Bridger and Fitzgerald head back, Glass essentially rises from the dead (the word revenant means “one that returns after death or a long absence”) and begins his quest for vengeance. With broken bones, no food, and miles to go, he pulls himself through snow and across mountains, seeking the man who killed his son. He is practically a ghost, a man who has come as close to death as one possibly can but is unwilling to go to the other side until justice is done.
The bulk of “The Revenant” consists of this torturous journey, as Glass regains his strength and gets closer to home through sheer force of will. Iñárritu’s Oscar-winning cinematographer for “ Birdman ,” Emmanuel Lubezki (who also took a trophy for “ Gravity ” the year before and could easily make it three in a row for this work) shoots “The Revenant” in a way that conveys both the harrowing conditions and the artistry of his vision. The sky seems to go on forever; the horizon is neverending. He works in a color palette provided by nature, and yet enhanced. The snow seems whiter, the sky bluer. Many of his shots, especially in times of great danger like the opening attack and the bear scene, are unbroken — placing us in the middle of the action.
At other times, Lubezki’s choices recall his work on “The Tree of Life,” especially in scenes in the second half when Glass’s journey gets more mystical. And that’s where the film falters a bit. Iñárritu doesn’t quite have a handle on those second-half scenes and the 156-minute running time begins to feel self-indulgent as the film loses focus. When it centers on the conditions and the tale of a man unwilling to die, it’s mesmerizing. I just think there’s a tighter version, especially in the mid-section, that would be even more effective.
About that man: So much has been made of this film being DiCaprio’s “Overdue Oscar” shot that I feel like his actual work here will be undervalued. Make no mistake. Should he win, it will not be some “Lifetime Achievement” win as we’ve seen in the past for actors who we all thought should have won for another film ( Paul Newman , Al Pacino , etc.). He’s completely committed in every terrifying moment, pushing himself further than he ever has before as an actor. Even just the physical demands of this protagonist would have been enough to break a lot of lesser actors, but it’s the way in which DiCaprio captures his internal fortitude that’s captivating—his body may be broken, but we believe he is unwilling to give up.
The minimal supporting cast is good, and it’s nice to see Gleeson continue to have an incredible 2015 (also in “ Brooklyn ,” “ Ex Machina ” and “ Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens ”). Tom Hardy is less effective, often going a little too heavy on the tics (wide eyes, shot up-close), but I think that’s a fault of the direction and not one of our best actors. In the end, this is DiCaprio’s film through and through, and he nails every challenging beat, literally throwing himself into this character that demands more of him physically than any other before.
What would you do for vengeance? What conditions could you surmount to get it? Or would you just give up? Our favorite films often drop questions like these into our lives, allowing us to appreciate the world a little differently than before we saw them. “The Revenant” has this power. It lingers. It hangs in the back of your mind like the best classic parables of man vs. nature. It will stay there for quite some time.
Brian Tallerico is the Managing Editor of RogerEbert.com, and also covers television, film, Blu-ray, and video games. He is also a writer for Vulture, The Playlist, The New York Times, and GQ, and the President of the Chicago Film Critics Association.
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The Revenant (2015)
Rated R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.
Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass
Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald
Will Poulter as Jim Bridger
Domhnall Gleeson as Andrew Henry
Paul Anderson as Anderson
Brad Carter as Johnnie
Kristoffer Joner as Murphy
Brendan Fletcher as Fryman
Joshua Burge as Stubby Bill
Robert Moloney as Dave Chapman
- Alejandro González Iñárritu
- Mark L. Smith
- Michael Punke
Director of Photography
- Emmanuel Lubezki
- Stephen Mirrione
- Bryce Dessner
- Carsten Nicolai
- Ryûichi Sakamoto
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Raw, Brutal The Revenant a Triumph of Spirit and Technique
- Jeffrey Huston Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2015 24 Dec
DVD Release Date: April 19, 2016 Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2015 (limited); January 8, 2016 (wide) Rating: R (for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, strong language, and brief nudity) Genre: Drama Run Time: 156 min Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck
Few modern films attempt a truly grand scale set in the real world (many are digitally-enhanced, others are entirely special effect environments). Fewer still actually pull it off. The Revenant dares the first and, to its credit and our awe, does the second.
The Revenant Leaves Us Feeling Cold
It's a grueling, often torturous tale, testing the limits of both its actors and audience. As his past films attest, Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu ( Birdman ) loves to drag his characters through gauntlets – both physical and psychological – and star Leonardo DiCaprio has made a career out of putting himself through them. Their collaboration is potent.
Iñárritu never compromises on his bold, relentless vision; DiCaprio commits like never before (which is really saying something), and together they actually pull off numerous gambles – including a lengthy bear attack that will have everyone talking, and is likely to stand as an iconic cinematic reference over time. Not for the faint of heart, The Revenant rewards those who are willing and able to endure it.
As the expedition crosses paths with a warring Sioux tribe, combat, chaos, and violent mayhem explodes. It's an extended sequence that plays out entirely in a single, whirring, feverish take that's absolutely mindboggling, with vast carnage unfolding in explicit detail. In its wake, the team must move ahead with renewed caution, yet Glass and Hawk's efforts to forge a path are undermined by a conniving, greedy, and bigoted trapper named Fitzgerald ( Tom Hardy , Mad Max: Fury Road ).
It must be emphasized in no uncertain terms just how brutal The Revenant is. The wilds of the American frontier – from nature to animals to clashing cultures – are unforgiving, and so is the depiction of them here. The violence of frontier combat is graphic, from how it's staged and portrayed to seeing its bloody consequences. The bear attack is wholly unique in its bestial, terrifying cruelty. And yet it's all a valid, honest representation, never abhorrently gratuitous even at its most severe (leave that to The Hateful Eight , Quentin Tarantino's latest).
The superior craftsmanship of The Revenant creates a world so mammoth and imposing that it utterly dwarfs its inhabitants, often times causing it to seem as if the film is set on some other mystical planet entirely (locations ranged from Northern Canada to the mountains of Argentina). The natural conditions were demanding, but so were Iñárritu’s techniques. He filmed many scenes in single takes, most requiring razor sharp choreography of multiple moving (and unpredictable) parts. Somehow, it all comes alive in an organic flow, all while utilizing only natural light, according to cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki 's minimalist approach to filming exteriors through wide angle lenses that capture a massive scope.
Last year, Iñárritu reigned at the Academy Awards with Birdman , and he already may have topped himself. Both films are superbly – but differently – ambitious. Where Birdman was intimate, The Revenant is epic. Each film is brilliant, and they both rise decidedly above the labored self-import of Iñárritu's early work.
The Revenant is Iñárritu abandoning pretense entirely, allowing the story and its themes to speak for themselves as the film examines humanity at its most primal, bloodthirsty core. But there is also resilience – and even grace – through which courage and humility can ascend in the midst of grief, rage, injustice, and loss.
The word "revenant" refers to a person who has returned, supposedly from the dead. It generally means the return of a ghost or spirit, not one in the body, and yet for as haunting as this tale is The Revenant can ultimately be read as a resurrection story. It just happens to be one that spends most of its time tracking the descent into hell .
CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers) :
- Drugs/Alcohol: Some alcohol is consumed by men in a pub type setting.
- Language/Profanity: Strong language throughout. Four instances of the Lord's name taken in vain, six uses of the S-word, two SOBs, a vulgar sexual term, two other mild profanities, one N-word, and F-words in the double digits.
- Sexual Content/Nudity: Male full frontal nudity seen briefly from a distance. A woman is raped (the moment is fairly brief, without struggle, and no nudity).
- Violence/Other: Various scenes throughout of brutal graphic violence. Scenes involving frontier combat between trappers and Native Americans. Arrows piercing eyes, heads, and necks. Hatchets chopping into people. Multiple stabbings, both in broad combat scenarios as well as individual confrontations. Gun violence, both in broad combat scenarios and individual standoffs. A man's ear is bitten off. Various forms of dismemberment (hands/fingers chopped off and the like). Bloody results often seen to all forms of violence, gaping wounds. Fresh, savaged corpses of humans and carcasses of animals. Two scalped heads are seen at different times. An extended mauling of a man by a grizzly bear; bitten, gouged, clawed, thrown around like a rag doll. A man cauterizes a neck wound with gun powder and fire. Deep, bloody, multiple cuts and bites across the man's body. Men eat raw animal meat. A man disembowels a horse and then crawls inside it for warmth.
Publication date: December 25, 2015
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The Revenant Ending and Real History Explained
We examine what the The Revenant ending's final moments mean and what role the real history of Hugh Glass played in the film.
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This article contains The Revenant spoilers.
In the last two years, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu has delivered a pair of visionary films that’ve made a grizzly bear-sized impact on the cinematic conversation. 2014’s Birdman was an ode to pretension, ambition, and all those other wonderful virtues that drive artists mad. Nimble and talky with its theatrical levity, Birdman is quite clearly the inverse of The Revenant , a stoic and often wordless musing on man’s primal urges—including revenge—when cast against a primordial and uncaring world. Ostensibly an intimate story of suffering, The Revenant takes on a biblical scope when Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy are doing battle in the backdrop of a budding avalanche.
However, there is more in common with these two movies than merely their ability to play as awards voter catnip ( Birdman nearly swept the Oscars and if the Golden Globes of 2016 are any indication, The Revenant might repeat the trend). In fact, one of the most striking similarities is their preference for ambiguity and open-ended finality.
Buy The Revenant: A Story of Revenge by Michael Punke on Amazon.
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After seeing The Revenant twice now in the last two months—and with two different sets of people—I can confirm that there have been wildly different interpretations about the closing scene and just what Hugh Glass’ final audible breaths mean for both the character and his place in history.
But I suspect the whole meaning of the nigh three-hour film’s conclusion is explained right at the start of the picture.
As Long as You Can Still Grab Breath
The very first lines of dialogue in The Revenant are spoken by Leonardo DiCaprio with a Pawnee affection, yet their meaning remains crystal clear. “It’s okay son, I know you want this to be over. I’m right here. I will be right here. But you don’t give up. You hear me? As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe… keep breathing.”
These early words spoken by Hugh Glass to Hawk, his half-Pawnee son, are crucial to understanding the movie. In the immediacy, it introduces the theme of the story, as well as Glass’ love for a son whose mother was taken away by other white men. But it, more than any desire for revenge, is the true driving force for Glass’ stunning survival instinct.
And it comes just as much into play at the end of the film after Hugh Glass has hunted down John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and cornered him by a slushy creek. The most iconic scene in The Revenant, which is destined to become a classic moment of big screen brutality, is of course when the grizzly bear mauls Hugh Glass half to death in an agonizing steadicam shot that goes on for several minutes (plus an eternity). Yet, the final knockdown, drag out brawl between Glass and Fitzgerald is just as merciless.
Bones are smashed, fingers cut off, and hands impaled. By all accounts, both men appear mortally wounded, albeit Fitzgerald more so. Hence why he can barely protest when Glass sends his broken body down river like it’s a raft borne of flesh and leaking blood. Glass does this because he seems to have taken to heart the advice of his Pawnee savior from the midway point of the film. He is on course to suffer the fate of all tragic revengers if he personally takes Fitzgerald’s life.
… Plus it’s kind of a vicious boon that Fitzgerald despises Native Americans more than anything else. While Fitzgerald could keep a brave face and proudly mock Glass to his dying breath, the idea of the “savages” that took his scalp would now finish the job is akin to feeding an arachnophobe to a den of black widows.
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Yet, it’s after this moment that the ambiguity settles in. Just as Fitzgerald said before he died, “Well you enjoy it Glass, because there ain’t anything that’ll bring your boy back.” And indeed, with his revenge complete, Glass appears frightfully wounded and far from the safety of a fort. Thus there appears nothing left to him when the ghostly visage of his dead wife appears, apparently beckoning him toward the eternal.
The closing images of the film are of Hugh Glass watching in utter despair as she turns away from his snow-encrusted beard and walks into the distance while he keeps breathing. He keeps breathing even after the credits have begun.
Admittedly, one interpretation of this ending, which is entirely valid, is that Glass follows his long lost love to find peace with her and their murdered son, Hawk. The idea of an avenger finding peace in death after his revenge is complete remains a familiar and comforting ending every bit as satisfying as the often grimmer alternative of self- annihilation. Maximus was relieved to find his wife and son waiting for him on the fields of Elysium, and Mel Gibson’s version of William Wallace greeted Catherine McCormack’s Murron almost as readily as Gibson jumps at scenes of glorified torture.
However, I do not think Iñárritu is going for something nearly as reassuring or appeasing as that sort of bittersweet closer. There is no uplift for Hugh Glass as the fierce cold continues to rot his body and soul. There is only the sound of his breathing. That is because he does not die. Hugh Glass lives on in this perpetually unfair mortal coil while his wife, much like the indigenous people she represents, fades away. The wilderness he has soiled with his and Fitzgerald’s blood, and their petty human concerns, will also one day fade away because of Glass’ people—but Glass and his kind keep breathing.
He is a survivalist at heart, and he did not survive grizzly bears, frozen river rapids, French gunfire, and an odyssey of snow only to give up because his revenge is quenched.
Rather, Glass will keep breathing even after the credits end, even if it means he is utterly alone. He still has fight and for better or worse it’s left him as the last man standing in a storyline ultimately filled with ghosts.
What About the Real Hugh Glass?
Then again, perhaps studying the real Hugh Glass might give audiences some clues about what the ending meant for this character…. Or not.
If one gives even a cursory glance into the real life events that inspired The Revenant , the word “inspired” quickly proves key. While there was a Hugh Glass who was mauled by a grizzly bear during Gen. William Henry Ashley’s expedition of 1823 in the Dakota Territory, the details almost immediately begin to blur. For starters, instead of the frightful cold pictured in Iñárritu’s film, the attack occurred during the summer of 1823 in August. Secondly, other details are muddied, such as Thomas Fitzgerald (not John) and Jim Bridger being Glass’ pallbearers.
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Indeed, there is plenty of academic skepticism of whether the young lad who was said to have joined Fitzgerald in leaving Glass for dead was even Jim Bridger (Will Poulter), a famous mountain man in his own right. The only primary accounts of Glass’ mauling from 1823—which did indeed come after Andrew Henry’s party was attacked by Arikara (or “Ree”) Indians—belonged to James Clyman and Daniel Potts. Clyman recorded that Glass “went off of the line of march one afternoon and met with a large grissly Bear… he attempted to climb a tree but the bear caught him and hauled to the ground tearing and lacerating his body in fearful rate.”
Potts meanwhile stated, “One man was also tore nearly all to peases by a White Bear and was left by the way without any gun who afterwards recovr’d.”
While Glass most certainly did nurse himself back to health and crawled his way over some 200 miles to Fort Kiowa, it wasn’t until 1825 that the first newspaper account added the detail that not only was he left in the wilderness after the mauling, but that also two men had volunteered to wait behind and bury him, and then didn’t (Thomas Fitzgerald and an unnamed youth, as according to Philip St. Cooke’s 1830 account).
Whatever the case might be, no version of this story prior to this film includes the poetic horror of a murdered son. While Glass was certainly left for dead and unarmed after the grizzly mauling, and likely by two compatriots who lied about his passing, the creation of Hawk (Glass’ half-Pawnee son played by Forrest Goodluck in the film) was wholly invented for The Revenant . But it sure makes revenge more necessary, doesn’t it?
According to the most widely accepted version of events, Glass finished nursing himself back to health at Fort Kiowa (which he reached in part with the help of the Sioux). He then hunted Jim Bridger and Thomas Fitzgerald down to Fort Henry but only found a young Bridger there, who begged Glass’ forgiveness. Given that Bridger would have only been 19-years-old then, and that Glass blamed Fitzgerald for pressuring the young lad into abandoning him, Glass forgave Bridger. He then spent months returned to Henry’s company before following Fitzgerald to Fort Atkinson the following summer (in modern day Nebraska).
He had planned to kill Fitzgerald, but upon finding his prey had enlisted into the U.S. Army, he realized that murdering Fitzgerald would be a crime punishable by death. Ergo, he let Fitzgerald live and only demanded that the man return his Hawken rifle to him.
Glass did in fact die from a battle though… 10 years later in 1833 when he was employed as a hunter for Fort Union and was killed during a skirmish with Arikara Indians. Gen. William Henry Ashley—whom Domhnall Gleeson’s Capt. Henry is also partially based on—meanwhile, did not die in a frozen tundra during a shootout with a man named Fitzgerald (nor did the real Andrew Henry). In fact, he went on to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Missouri for five years before a failed bid for the state’s governorship. He died of pneumonia in 1836.
Ultimately, The Revenant takes very little from actual history and should be viewed on its own terms: an Alejandro G. Iñárritu fever dream about clashing cultures and a cruelly beautiful natural world displaced by our own prejudices. It’s a vision so strong that it even keeps breathing after the final frame.
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This article was first published on Jan. 13, 2016.
David Crow | @DCrowsNest
David Crow is the movies editor at Den of Geek. He has long been proud of his geek credentials. Raised on cinema classics that ranged from…
- DVD & Streaming
- Action/Adventure , Drama , Western
- December 25, 2015
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass; Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald; Domhnall Gleeson as Andrew Henry; Will Poulter as Jim Bridger; Forrest Goodluck as Hawk
Home Release Date
- April 19, 2016
- Alejandro González Iñárritu
- 20th Century Fox
We live unthinking. The grand engines locked in our ribcage are on autopilot. Hearts beat. Lungs expand and contract. Livers and kidneys and spleens do what they were designed to do without direction. We wake each day in rote repetition, moving through the hours in lands of plenty.
Yet to live—to take another breath, to allow your heart another beat—is still a choice. Sometimes a hard one.
Years ago, Hugh Glass watched his son nearly die. Their Pawnee village was attacked by soldiers in the then-unclaimed lands of the American West, and dozens died at the encroachers’ hands, including Glass’ Pawnee wife. His son, Hawk, was badly burned in the attack, but Glass practically willed his child to survive.
“You don’t give up! You hear me?” he told the boy. “As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight.”
Hawk fought and lived. Now the two work as scouts for a hunting and trapping expedition—a father-and-son team in some of the world’s wildest environs. It’s Glass’ job to help the trappers get in, out and rich—all while keeping most of them alive. Easier said than done. A tribe of Rees attacks the party, killing more than half. They’ll likely attack again, and it’s up to Glass to track down the safest route back to Fort Kiowa.
But as Glass scouts, he runs headlong into a family of bears, getting between mother and cubs. When the rest of the party find Glass, he’s more a mass of bloodied meat than man, more dead than alive. Most expect he’ll expire for good in an hour or two.
But he doesn’t. Glass lives, the sheer audacity of which forces his comrades to care for and carry him. Snow begins to fall. The terrain grows more formidable. And the Ree are still out there, somewhere, eager to claim the rest of their scalps.
Finally, they can go no further—not with Glass’ nearly dead weight holding them back. Captain Andrew Henry decides to leave him behind, to be watched over by volunteers until he takes his final breath. Hawk stays with his father. A young man named Jim Bridger volunteers, too. And John Fitzgerald—a nasty work of nature with an eye on extra pay—stays behind as well.
But much to Fitz’s frustration, Glass still refuses to die. He can’t walk. He can’t talk. But he keeps drawing breath. Ragged. Painful. To Fitz, pointless.
So one afternoon when Hawk and Bridger are away, Fitz sidles up next to Glass. Fitz tells him he could make his death quick and painless. He tells him that, by watching over his worthless body, they’re all in danger. The Ree could come at any minute and kill them all … including his boy. Do you really want to kill your son? Fitz asks.
“Just blink,” Fitz tells him. Blink, and Fitz’ll take it as a yes—a yes to the end of this painful life, a yes to sweet oblivion. “What are you holding onto, Glass?” he asks.
Blink, Fitz says. Just blink.
[ Spoilers are contained in the following sections. ]
Glass does blink—for the sake of his boy. And yet Hawk wants his father to live. Each is willing to sacrifice a great deal for the other, even if those sacrifices are incredibly extreme. And in a cruel irony, Hawk ends up saving Glass’ life while losing his own.
Glass, now alone in the wilderness, still refuses to die. You have to respect the man’s sheer determination to keep going, but he doesn’t do it without some help. He meets a Pawnee who befriends him, feeds him and nurses him. And when Glass is healthy again and on his own, he rescues a young Ree princess from the clutches of French trappers and soldiers.
While the land we see in The Revenant is a cold and brutal one, it is not without honor and compassion. Captain Henry brings Glass as far as realistically possible, wanting to do right by this man who, Henry believes, kept their party alive. And when death looks inevitable, Henry wants Glass’ passing to be as dignified and natural as possible. Bridger, too, wants to look after Glass. He leaves him only when Fitz forces him to, and gives the poor man his canteen before departing. He also leaves food for a hungry woman (who is living in a burned village full of corpses). And while he doesn’t contradict Fitz’s lies when they finally reach the fort, neither does he take the money offered to him.
In the 1820s, when most everyone had some semblance of faith, Fitz is an outlier. He relates to Bridger how one of his pals found religion when he was alone, lost and starving. “He told me he found God,” Fitz says. “Turns out, God, he’s a squirrel. A big ol’ meaty one.” And so Fitz’s friend “shot and ate that son of a b–ch.” When Bridger gets on Fitz’s bad side, Fitz points a gun at the man and says, “I ought to be like God to you. God giveth, and God taketh away.” And when Fitz tries to kill Glass, he begins offering a prayer over Glass’ struggling body, then gives it up as pointless as he tries to squeeze the breath out of him.
Conversely, Glass, a man of European descent who lived for years with the Pawnee, dreams that he reunites with his son in the ruins of a Christian church—the church bell silently swinging, religious murals visible. Many of his prayers and visions hint at his belief in an afterlife.
Capt. Henry points a gun at another man, telling him to say the Lord’s Prayer. Trappers offer prayers for the dead as they throw bodies into a river. Glass’ Pawnee friend tells him that he, too, lost his family, but he is not seeking vengeance. “Revenge is in the Creator’s hands,” the Pawnee says—a sentiment echoed later. A Native American chants among scads of dead bodies, offering up his own version of prayer.
I’ll note here that the movie’s very name has spiritual connotations—referring to a ghost or animated spirit, often tending to wreak havoc among the living.
Native American women dance with and consort with white men in the fort. Two men drunkenly dance with each other. A guy expresses his desire to find a woman with large breasts. Glass goes naked at one point. (We see part of his backside.) A naked man falls down dead from an arrow wound. (There’s full-frontal nudity from a distance, and a closer look from the back as his body is being dragged away.)
In a grimly gratuitous scene that is fully depicted, a Ree woman is violently raped. (Clothes don’t hide the movements, the sounds, the shame and the horror of what’s happening, and it’s implied that this is a pretty normal occurrence.)
Let’s begin with the bear. The animal—surprised by Glass—charges the man and rips into him like a dog might tear into a flimsy bag filled with bacon. We see the grizzly rake her claws across his back and neck, bite into his hand and tear into his throat, yanking and worrying him. She stands on his face and nearly crushes him. While Glass eventually kills the bear—shooting at point-blank range and stabbing her several times—the bear’s body lands on Glass, making it impossible for him to move. As mentioned, when Glass is rescued, he’s covered with blood and gaping wounds. When he drinks, he coughs up blood. To “fix” his neck wound, he puts a touch of gun powder in it and lights it, causing the open injury to solder shut. (And that’s not all we see of Glass’ grotesque wounds.)
Glass is one of the lucky ones. Several other people die from bullets, arrows or knives—and the moments of impact are often vividly displayed. We see trappers get skewered in the face and neck by arrows. Glass has another man’s blood spattered across his face. People are pummeled by the butt ends of rifles. Someone’s fingers get hacked off. Hands and legs are viciously stabbed. People nearly drown and fall from heights. We see a hanging. Fitz is partly bald—the result of a scalping he survived earlier in his life (and described in horrific detail). Water and snow turn red with blood. Corpses are everywhere, it seems.
Animals have a hard time of it, too. One horse is shot in the head, felling him instantly. Another is hit by an arrow and plunges from a cliff. Glass hollows out a dead animal (we see him removing the massive guts), strips naked and sleeps inside the cavity, which keeps him warm in a snowstorm. A buffalo is taken down by wolves which are, in turn, kept at bay by fire. (Some of the wolves get a bit too close.) In dreams and/or flashbacks, Glass stares at a huge mountain of bison bones.
Crude or Profane Language
Fifteen or more f-words, and about the same number of s-words. We’re also pelted by “a–,” “b–ch,” “t-ts,” “h—” and “p—.” God’s name is mashed up with “d–n” around 10 times. Jesus’ name gets abused four or five times. The n-word is spit out. Someone makes a crude reference to cutting off testicles.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Most of these hardened trappers love their drink. We see them drunk when they’re inside the fort, blearily dancing or gambling or practically passed out. One falls down in the snow when he leaves a warm tavern to relieve himself. Frenchmen get drunk at their campsite.
Other Negative Elements
Glass spits up blood and throws up the raw meat he tries to eat. Others vomit in the midst of incredible carnage. Native Americans are treated by many as subhuman. Glass is despised for having a son with a Native American woman.
There’s meaning in this mad world. That’s both a statement about the movie and, really, the point of the movie itself.
Fitz is its prime materialist. He lives for the paycheck and kills to earn one. And if a man should get in the way of his living? Well, it’s not personal to remove the man, necessarily: Just business, Fitz would say. He seems a bit mystified that anyone would ever think differently. Meaning? There is no meaning for him. Only comfort or discomfort. Only getting ahead or falling behind. Only predator or prey.
But Glass sees the world in a different way. The story returns again and again to the bond he shares with his son. And when Hawk dies and Glass lives, something breaks in the survivor. He literally crawls out of the grave dug for him and wills himself to life—if only to bring the boy’s killer to justice.
“He has everything to lose,” Glass says. “All I had was my boy, and he took him from me.”
We understand Glass’ rage, even if we can’t condone it. But the movie is not a simple story of revenge. Its conclusion is more nuanced than that—both more hopeful and more bleak. What happens when everything you’ve loved is gone? What becomes of you when vengeance has been sated?
Yes, there’s meaning in this mad world—a meaning more powerful than Fitz’s materialism, more lasting than Glass’ revenge. We live. We give no thoughts to the workings of our lungs or livers. But what do we live for ?
The Revenant , like the land it depicts, is beautiful, brutal and unforgiving. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy excel in their ability to bring Glass and Fitz to graphic life … while their characters’ terrible, personal war turns this excruciatingly violent movie into a harrowing, even scarring sojourn.
Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.
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"mixed artistic disaster".
What You Need To Know:
(Pa, CC, O, AbAb, BB, LLL, VVV, SS, N, AA, D, MM) Mixed pagan worldview includes Native American spiritualism and other spiritualist experiences (an Indian “medicine man,” images of Native American beliefs about the souls of dead people, and the protagonist has visions of his dead Indian wife), anti-Christian and anti-God diatribes and mockery from villain are rather strong, and lots of Christian elements with a final Christian, biblical message that revenge is God’s business, an important scene in a broken-down church stressing Christ crucified and many allegorical Christian, redemptive elements such as many deaths and resurrections and a baptism of the protagonist; 26 obscenities (five of which are anachronistic “f” words), and 21 profanities with a strong cursing and mockery of God by the villain, some racial epithets, plus lots of rude and crude references to squaws and sex; extreme violence with copious amounts of gore, blood and grotesquely maimed and mutilated body parts and organs includes Indians attack, people are scalped, mutilated and attacked, incredibly grotesque scars and maulings, bear punctures a man’s throat, water and blood pour out of man’s throat, Indian is hung, people are beaten, people’s fingers are chopped off, peoples limbs are shot with arrows, people’s teeth are knocked out, people are gouged, hero takes out inside of horse to sleep inside cavity, eating of animal body parts and guts, falls from great heights, near drownings, shootings, son is burned and scarred for life, man buried alive in a lime pit, frozen extremities, avalanches, and woman rescued from being raped and uses knife to castrate rapist; strong sexual content includes depicted and implied rape includes French bad guys take Indian woman captive and abuse her, plus lots of rude and crude references to squaws and sex; rear full male nudity, upper male nudity, and flying body parts; alcohol use and drunkenness; some brief pipe smoking but no drugs; and, strong miscellaneous immorality and problems include lying is the key plot point, Indian uses herbal medicine practices to physically heal protagonist, and there’s cheating and stealing.
THE REVENANT is a big budget, artsy, mixed message movie with strong Christian content combined with strong spiritualist content. The violence in THE REVENANT is too excessive, the cursing is anachronistic, and the movie is far too long with repeated scenes of the same type of graphic violence.
THE REVENANT tells the story of Hugh Glass, a guide for fur trappers in the Rockies in the 1820s. The fur trappers Glass was guiding abandoned him after a grizzly bear terribly mauled him, but Glass survived to have newspapers tell of his miraculous survival. His story became the subject of several books, the last of which is a 2002 novel by Michael Punke that re-imagines the story as a story of survival and revenge.
This movie version opens with Glass and the other fur trappers he’s leading being attacked by an American Indian tribe led by a chief whose daughter was kidnapped by other fur trappers. The Indians are brutal, and the trappers are no less brutal.
After the attack, Glass tries to lead the few survivors back to the nearest fort without their furs, which have been taken by the Indians to some French fur trappers, who are actually the ones with the chief’s daughter. In the middle of their grueling and scary attempt to get over the Rockies in the winter, Glass is attacked and mauled by a mother grizzly bear protecting her cubs.
The captain of the trading company, Andrew Henry, tries to take most of the men over the mountain without Glass as their guide. He pays three men to stay behind with Glass, who’s barely alive. One of the three men is Glass’s son and another is a young trapper. The third man is the villain, Fitzgerald, who’s been cursing and mocking God from the first scene.
Fitzgerald only stays behind for the money, but he finally gets bored and tells Glass, if he blinks, Fitzgerald will kill him and bury him so he can find peace with his God. When Fitzgerald tries to kill Glass, Hugh’s son, who’s half Indian, tries to save his father, but Fitzgerald kills him and leaves.
Somehow, though he’s alone and terribly wounded, Glass recovers, and he crawls through the woods. Now, the questions are: whether Glass can survive; whether the Indians will kill the other trappers; what will happen to Fitzgerald; and, whether Glass will be able to satisfy his desire for revenge against the evil Fitzgerald.
THE REVENANT ends when Glass remembers the words of his wife that revenge is God’s business. Even so, he throws the injured Fitzgerald into the river. However, this premise or theme gets lost in the movie. Thus, REVENANT also has the survival premise, the premise about the fur trapping industry of early America, the premise about the Native Americans, and many other minor premises, all of which should be integrated or discarded with careful editing.
Furthermore, although THE REVENANT has some strong Christian content and symbolism, it has equally strong spiritualist and atheist content. In fact, the Christianity is spotty, and plenty of occult Indian spiritualism competing with it. Moreover, Fitzgerald tells the mocking story that his father found a little sage tree and found god: a squirrel. His father eats god the squirrel in the tree. With great glee, Fitzgerald viciously mocks God and religion.
Aside from the gruesome violence and the abhorrent language, THE REVENANT is very limited by the lack of character arcs and monochromatic expressions of all the actors. For instance, Fitzgerald starts off as abhorrent and never has any character growth. Glass stays the same throughout the whole movie, with a slightly jumping character growth at the end. The photography, though beautiful, is also monochromatic, always dark, grey and foreboding.
The biggest problem with the movie is that it seems the writer and director didn’t know what they wanted. Did they want to show Glass surviving? Did they want to show a story of revenge overcome by God’s grace? Did they want to extol the virtues of Indian culture and alleged spiritual beliefs? Did they want to show how bad the fur trading companies were? All these themes are jumbled together in an episodic fashion.
With editing, THE REVENANT could have been a good movie, or they could have cut the budget severely and made the artsy movie they wanted to make. As it is, however, the movie’s current edit is neither here nor there.
For a better movie based on this same story, mature audiences might want to look up MAN IN THE WILDERNESS with Richard Harris and John Huston.
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The Revenant streaming: where to watch online?
You can buy "The Revenant" on Microsoft Store, Apple TV, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, DIRECTV, AMC on Demand as download or rent it on Apple TV, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Microsoft Store, DIRECTV online.
In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.
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Definition of revenant
Did you know.
What is a revenant ?
For much of 2016, revenant was among our top lookups, doubtless because it was prominently featured in the title of a movie ( The Revenant ) released in 2015. Outside of contemporary cinema, revenant is encountered rarely, and it appears likely that many users who were unfamiliar with the word wished to learn more about its meaning and perhaps where it came from. Denoting “one that returns after death or a long absence,” revenant is a borrowing from French that was originally formed from the present participle of the verb revenir ("to return"). It literally means “one coming back,” either from another place or from the dead.
Examples of revenant in a Sentence
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'revenant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
French, from present participle of revenir to return
1818, in the meaning defined above
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Cite this Entry
“Revenant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/revenant. Accessed 20 Oct. 2023.
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