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Published January 16th 2016
How far would you will yourself to go, for revenge?
What a movie to watch right before the awards season begins! Already winner of three Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Best Actor and Best Director, the film has earned itself 12 Oscar nominations. And why not? Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, the award winning director of Birdman, the film (inspired by true events) comes gilded in raw human emotions and clothed in the unforgiving beauty of winter wilderness.
The Revenant Poster (copyright of 20th Century Fox)
Joined by his Inception co-star Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio, in the lead role, gives yet another stellar performance. Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is a seasoned guide and is part of a hunting party in Louisiana Purchase, led by Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). After the riverside camp of these traders comes under attack by the Arikara (Red Indian Tribe searching for their chief's kidnapped daughter), those unhurt flee in a boat and are advised by Glass to abandon it mid-river to escape being pursued by the tribe now following the water flow.
Carrying the heavy pelt packs on their exhausted backs, the team comes to a rest, which is when Glass forays into the jungle alone and is brutally mauled by a mother Bear trying to protect her cubs from the hunter. His throat partially ripped, his limbs and back severely gashed, Glass barely survives after killing the Bear. The team finds him half dead and Captain Henry uses his minimal medical skills to stop Glass's profuse bleeding. Upon facing a lot of challenges in carrying the injured teammate, the Captain is persuaded by a wilful John Fitzgerald (Hardy) to kill Glass. Unable to take Glass's life, Henry offers to pay anybody who would stay back and look after the wounded man till his death. Glass's son Hawk and another boy named Bridges volunteer to stay joined by Fitzgerald (who agrees for a triple of the initial pay offer).
Soon afterwards, Fitzgerald starts digging a grave and with Glass's permission, when neither of the boys are around, tries to asphyxiate him but ends up killing Hawk when the latter appears suddenly and tries to prevent his father's murder. An incapacitated and voiceless Glass watches with horror the fatal attack on his son. Fitzgerald then weaves false stories and leads a terrified Bridges away, leaving Glass in the grave.
Guided by his dead wife's voice, the experienced hunter wills himself out of the grave dragging his body to his son only to find him cold dead. Driven by anger, a strong instinct to survive and the mad drive to exact vengeance, Glass embarks on a journey across the cold landscape - stumbling, limping, escaping Arikaras, dragged along rapids, eating roots and raw flesh, helped by a lone Pawnee(another Indian Tribe); to find the one who wronged him. Will Captain Henry ever learn the truth of his guide's fate? Who shall prevail and who shall perish?
Based on the book bearing the same name, by Michael Punke, The Revenant is a power-packed treat with stunning visuals for all movie aficionados. (For me, apart from the bear attack scene, the most extraordinary moment was when Glass guts his dead horse and survives the cold night within its abdominal cavity).