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My Favorite Movie: the Revenant; Revenge and Vengeance

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There are numerous reasons to why this movie is my all time favorite. I’m not usually the type of person to categorize things i enjoy by having a “favorite”, but this movie was different to me. As many times as I have watched and re-watched this marvelous movie it still manages to hit the same way every time.Some movies over the 2 hour mark begin to bore myself because the plot and the story progression is way too slow for my liking and I then become disinterested , this movie is different , while having a screentime of a whopping 2 Hours and 36 minutes, you find yourself on the edge of your seat the entire time. The Director did a great job of keeping the audience interested wondering what’s going to happen next through the entirety of the whole movie. This Film was packed with so much action and adventure , I would have to consider this film to be in the Drama Category. This film perfectly describes the definition of a dramatic film, from the amazing camerawork , to the amazing plot, to the beautiful canadian scenery, and the mostly Linear plot structure. For the most part the film was told from beginning to end , but also has some elements of a Cinematic story structure, with the use of Glass hallucinating and having flashbacks. This film also could be considered an epic because it shows the great destination that man had to go through, also director Iñárritu only used natural lighting, this provides not only amazing scenery , but it shows homage to beautiful mountains, and landscape that Gods earth has to provide.

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This Movie takes place in the 1820’s while a frontiersman is on a fur trading expedition and is abandoned by his other huntsmen. He is left to die in the fierce winter ,after being brutally mauled by a bear, left to fight on his own, outsmart the natives and must find a way to get back home. The heroic Film was awarded 3 Oscars, and had a 183 nominations of awards. The film was made in 2014 and later released online first in December 2015, but then was released on January 6 2016 by 20th century fox and has grossed over $532,950,503 according to IMDB. This Fantastic movie starring big names such as Starred Leonardo Decaprio, ( Hugh Glass) who the movie focuses on most prominently , Tom Hardy played john fitzgerald throughout the film, and Will Poulter played the role of “Bridger”.

This movie was based off of Micheal Punke’s 2002 novel “The revenant”. Usually films do a terrible job of interpreting what the book was truly intended for, this movie on the other hand, did an amazing job of following the early 2002 novel,really adding another element to the bewildering storyline. Some even say that this movie was a remake of the popular 1971 movie “Man in the wilderness”, The revenant is near in plot and has a few similar scenes, but not entirely the same. The 1971 movie was long forgotten about until this movie came out then the curiosity began to arise . This film was visually pleasing to the eye because the beauty of the shots came from the breathtaking forests of Calgary Canada, the fields of Argentina, and the gorgeous mountains of The United States.

While this movie was pleasing to watch due to all the beautiful scenery , the specific shot style of the director, and the “on the edge of your seat” type plot , it managed to appeal to the audience and not only make it my favorite movie but made many others as well. IMDB Gave the move an 8.1/10 , 91% of the people liked the movie according to google statistics, Rotten tomatoes on the other hand only rated the movie at a 78%, which is good but not as good as I personally would rate the film.

Production for the movie began in august of 2001, almost 15 years before the movie would show. The movie was originally supposed to star Samuel L Jackson as an important character in the film, Regency studios felt like samuel jackson wasn’t the right fit for this type of movie. After many complications, production was stalled for 9 more years, when a screenwriter wrote a newer adaption of the entire movie, and wanted Christian Bale to play the part of Hugh Glass, but at the time he was busy with the filming of The Batman series, leading to him dropping out of the movie and production was stalled yet again. The film was handed off to director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who already had Leonardo Dicaprio in his mind to play Hugh glass. Once handed off to Iñárritu, the movie began to flow and fit together perfectly and production was on the road again.

This Film has an amazing storyline, grasping the attention of the audience right from the beginning. The director wanted to reel people in with emotion and have them hooked on a story of adventure, trials and tribulation, primality, adventure, heartbreak, and many more. The movie was set somewhere in the 1820s , The opening scene shows the main character Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) speaking to his son Hawk in an Native language, could of been pawnee, navajo, or apache. Hugh Glass is telling his beloved son that even though he is scared and wants his troubles to be over with ( as any father would want for their son) he needs to stay strong and fight while he has the chance. Glass basically said if his son is breathing he needs to be fighting. As we hear Glass’ voice, images of Glass with his Native American wife and son, Their home is up in flames and the wife is just holding Glass with a face of nothingness. Then the next scene shows Glass and Hawk are walking through a body of water with 3-4 other men that are part of the hunting party. They are stalking an elk to kill and bring back to the village.They are camped by a river in with other fur-trappers led by their captain, Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). Then a man that had been missing from the party shows up naked, then falls face first to the ground with an arrow shot through his back, the camera quickly pans to another man of the party is shown with an arrow through his neck and falls directly into the campfire. The hunting party is attacked by a tribe of locals natives known as ‘ The Ree’. The men of the hunting party fire back with their guns. Glass is fighting back trying to help out his men, and stand his ground, then randomly out of nowhere he was ambushed by one of the enemies and nearly choked to death. Luckily one of Glass’ men happened to be close and saved Glass from the near death experience.Some of Glass’ men grab their furs and try to make it back to the boat in hopes of escaping. The reason why Glass and his members got attacked was because The ‘Ree’ were looking for the chief’s daughter, Powaqa, apparently stolen by unknown white men.

The men decide to ditch their boat because they knew the indians would be watching and have the high ground if they were to escape through the river. They begin to head out on foot and go into the nearby forest to their nearby fort. During the hike, Hawk (Glass’ son) is antagonized by John Fitzgerald for the color of his skin and even his race, because hawk is half white and half indian , but Glass being the great father he is, he quickly defends his son and tells him not to fight with fitzgerald, because he knows fitzgerald will just keep criticizing hawk.

While hunting in the woods by himself, Glass faces one of the many rising actions of the great film and comes across a grizzly bear and her cubs, and then was quickly attacked by the Mama bear> The Bear is viscous with Glass, biting and clawing him. The bear was thrashing glass around like a rag doll. Glass was trying to defend himself trying to find anything he can grab to cause harm to the bear. After being thrown around he manages to crawl to his gun and shoot the bear, but not killing her. The bear even more angry now charges at Glass with full force, they both are trying to fight each other as they tumble down a hill, Glass gets his knife and stabs the bear repeatedly in the head.Once the angry bear stopped clawing and biting Glass, they landed at the bottom of the steep hill. Glass managed to kill the bear on the way down, then the dead bear landed on top of glass. He was mangled from the bear attack, the roll down the steep hill , and even worse he had the weight of the bear on top of his many broken bones. Glass was in lots of pain. The other members of the hunting party find glass mangled , they are surprised that he is alive after what he just went through, I was honestly surprised he was alive after all that.. They begin to attempt to tend to his wounds. This scene was epic to watch but made me feel so concerned for Glass. The director did a great job of connecting to the audience. It was all very shocking how real the entire bear fight was.

In this scene we see another rising action, that adds more structure to the plotwith the bear fight going and after on the enemies were still looking for Powaqa. The men in the party make a Stretcher out of sticks and try to carry glass out of the woulds. Glass knows he is going to do nothing but slow them down. While carrying him on a stretcher through the woods , in the heart of winter wasnt hard enough, they need to make it over a hill because the other route would take way too much time and they were running out of food. With the team agreeing to carry Glass up the Hill they do nothing but slide back down, taking out all the men with him on his decent. Captain Fitzgerald suggests they need to put Glass out of his misery and end his life right, so they don’t have to worry about Glass slowing them down. Henry then places his hand over Glass’ eyes and then points the gun to Glass’ head. Henry cannot bring himself to kill Glass’, and cannot pull the trigger. After that Henry offers crew members to stay with glass until they get back again for exchange of payment from Henry’s Fur that he was going to sell when he got back into town. The payment was 75$, only Glass’ son and Bridger volunteered, Fitzgerld made comment of how Glass was only going to die. Henry then raised the payment to 100$, and this attracted Fitzgerald because he would just have to wait out till Glass would pass away , then he could get his money. Fitzgerald was only in it for the money, not because he cared for one of his members . This shocked me because I thought they were going to kill of the main character early on in the movie, even after Glass’ had built an emotional connection to the audience.

While Glass is in immense amounts of pain he begins to hallucinate and see visions of his wife. We see the point of attack when Fitzgerald got a moment alone with Glass he tries to convince Glass to let him be put out of his misery and pain. Fitzgerald tries to convince Glass that he doesn’t want any of the others to be slowed down or even die especially hawk. As Glass is unable to speak because of the pain he is in, Fitzgerald suggests Glass should blink if he agrees, knowing that Glass would eventually have to blink .After Glass holding his eyes open for a while, he closes them not in the intent of blinking and being killed but in the intent of closing his eyes.Fitzgerald sees this and thinks Glass is blinking to be put out of his misery. Fitzgerald begins to smother and strangle Glass, Glass can’t do anything but sit there and accept it. I thought Glass was going to die yet again, but right at the final moments for Glass being strangled to death his son shows up , watching his dad die, Hawk desperately yells for Bridger for help. The Son tries to get Fitzgerald off of his father, and stall for time until Bridger shows up. With attempts in fighting , Fitzgerald stabs Hawk in the stomach and lets him bleed out, right in front of Glass. Glass couldn’t do anything but watch his pride and joy die right in front of him. Fitzgerald disposes of Hawks body andy tells bridger that he went off to the river. This was a heart wrenching scene, so many emotions going through me as I watched this. It made me dislike Fitzgerald a lot

Later that night Fitzgerald makes a false claim that he has heard “the Ree” up creek, he wants Bridger to go with him and check it out to “keep glass safe” which was a lie, Fitzgerald was going to abandon Glass. Fitzgerald has already prematurely dug Glass a grave because he knew he was going to die eventually. Fitzgerald Drags Glass Into the grave and almost buried him alive. This was expected but what was mind boggling was how Bridger sat there and let Fitzgerald do so and not say a single word

Meanwhile, Henry and the rest of the party have a troubling time heading back to the fort, as they are marching through the tough winter conditions and they are running out of energy. Fitzgerald and Bridger are planning to meet up with them but Bridger realizes something is not right about the situation where they left Glass to die. Bridger then connects the dots and realized that Fitzgerald had lied to him about “The Ree” up the creek, Bridger almost having a rising moment, takes his rifle and draws it up to Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald not being sacred takes the rifle from Bridger and then turns it on him , he fires the trigger and luckily to Bridger’s expensive the rifle clicked and nothing came out. They continue on the trek back to meet up the rest of the party. This scene was awkward, because Bridger thought he had a chance to rise up and assert dominance and show his power , but then the rifle fired and nothing comes out , then they have to continue to walk together till they reach the crew.

This part of the film would be considered the climax, where Glass wakes up , he weakly crawls out of the grave Fitzgerald had dug for him. He does not have the strength and power to walk, he has so much damage done to him so he attempts to walk but cannot and begins to slowly start crawling his way through the woods to find basic survival needs, food and warmth. After crawling for what seemed like an eternity He comes up across Hawk’s body freezing up from the cold. Glass vows to stay by his son’s side and let nothing come between him. Glass begins crawling against and finds a very thick bear pelt to take with him to keep warm. He doesn’t stay by his son because if he did, he would have died on the spot, so he keeps moving and trying to be brave for his son, he knows his son is watching over him and he continues to move through the woods. He eats the dead roots of the forest floor, and old bone marrow of animals that couldn’t withstand the harsh winter conditions. He attempts to make a fire fire warmth and to cure the minor frostbite he has. A brave and heroic part of this film where he is determined to do nothing but survive really shows the human limitations of the mind, he was so determined to survive he took some of his left over gunpowder and places it on his throat , he ignited the gunpowder and it seals his throat. Now he can begin to breathe better and not have to hold his throat while he crawls. He hears the Unfriendly Indians approaching him and lodges himself into the freezing to ride the rapids downstream to escape the Indians.

Fitzgerald and Bridger continue with the dreaded hike , in hopes of meeting up with the other men , they come across a village that has been burnt down to nothing. In this village there are lots of burnt bodies , just watching this scene is almost gross because of the details of the bodies. One woman comes out of the hut and is shaking , the twin men place down some food and quietly leave , no questions asked.

Glad continues with his journey, while getting much more cold and hungry as he slowly carries on. Over the course of the time he was in the grave to when he was in the river he began teaching himself how to walk. He begins with a walking stick and can’t hardly stand, he is like a little baby who is learning how to walk all over again. He will get up just to fall again. But soon enough he overcomes this limitation and begins to walk again. He walks down to the river, and then into the river and manages to catch a fish. He eats the fish while it’s still moving. Once he gets out of the river he sees a little Indian now chewing on what seems to be a dead bison carcass. He asks the boy for some food, the boy looks at him with disgust and toss him an organ, Glass proceeds to eat the organ like a savage. In the morning, the Indian observes the sores and cuts from the bear on Glass’ skin, they are starting to deteriorate , and almost become rotten. Glass then tells the boy what had happened to him and how Fitzgerald left him to die and killed his son in front of him. The boy was shocked, but he had a similar experience with another tribe. They other tribe had taken the boys family and killed them right in front of him. He was left on his own much like Glass. Its crazy how people of two totally different backgrounds and be almost virtual enemies , but come together and bond over how they have been mistreated.

Fitzgerald and Bridger reach the outpost and meet up with the rest of the men. Fitzgerald lets the other men that Glass and hawk were lost on the journey, As Fitzgerald was saying these untrue things Bridger was watching in disgust because he knew what actually what had happened. Fitzgerald happily collected his money and Bridger was offer a bonus pay , he wanted to decline because it wasn’t right to receive the payment for watching his friends die. He took the payment anyways. This scene shows that people aren’t always who you think they are and people will stab you in the back.

While the Indian and Glass were bonding they kept walking, they were having a great time, Glass was catching snowflakes in his mouth. He looked at peace with his life after all he had been through. This was a really happy moment in the film, the Indian and Glass were becoming good pals , and it was taking Glass’ mind off everything going around him. But after having fun and smiling Glass fainted and he had a fever, due to the fact he hasn’t eaten much and his body hasn’t been in the best of shape, especially since the bear attack. The indian notices Glass sweating and begins to gather resources for a sweat lodge , he then puts glass on the inside of the sweat lodge. Glass’ fever was so bad he was at the point of hallucinating and he saw his wife and son heading to the church. It was like Glass was there but they couldn’t hear or see him, he was just watching happily and embracing the moment. After letting Glass sweat out the toxins in his body , the indian performs a healing ritual on Glass. He wants the best for Glass because the kid was in a time of need and needed that friend to help take the emotional tragedy

After Glass Awakens from his rest, he notice his Indian friend is gone, this startled Glass, he continued on walking and he noticed something in the distant trees. He goes up to the tree and sees that his Indian friend has been hung by the French fur trappers. He quietly infiltrates their camp and watches from the distance a raping of a young girl. He notices the girl is Powaqa. After seeing this he rushes up to the Frenchies and holds them at gunpoint and Powaqa runs away. In this intense shootout scene Glass steals a French horse and rides away before getting even more hurt. He spends the night in a cave, reflecting back on the events that he had witnessed just that day. I can only imagine the kind of mental damage Glass is facing, after seeing his son die, his Indian friend hung , Powaqa being raped, and all the physical trauma that he has been through. Totally Crazy to even process.

When Glass woke up in the morning after having a rough night sleep, he hears the French and they are near. One of the Frenchmen saw the fire being extinguished and began firing at Glass, Glass holds back with more shots, he then hops up on his horse trying to escape the French. He rides to a cliff side where he is corned by the french, his only option was to be taken as hostage for the french, get shot at , or head over the cliff. He Jumped the cliff on his trusty horse and the horse took most of the impact and died, glass was left injured again. The french did not follow him, they assumed he had died. Nightfall comes around and glass is cold, and is facing potential frostbite or even death from the extreme conditions. He gets and amazing idea to cut open the horse and scrapes the organs out and manages to sleep inside the burrowed out horse carcass. It was gross to watch , he was covered in blood, but it kept our hero alive. When he woke up in the morning he crawled out of the carcass and finds a nearby snow cave, he then carves “Fitzgerald Killed my Son”

A while later back at the outpost, a french hunter arrives and shows henry that he has found Glass’ canteen that was placed next to him when fitzgerald had buried him. Henry thought that the French man had taken it from hawk. Henry calls his men together to form a search party to find glass or hawk, most of the men come , all except for Fitzgerald he stays back at the outpost.. While searching around Henry and the party sees a man limping towards them, they ride closer to the man and find out it was Glass. They take Glass back to the outpost, Henry Finds out that Fitzgerald is not to be found. This is a coincidence because now the team begins suspect Fitzgerald did something. It was surprising that Glass made through everything he did and still managed to find his way back to the camp. Searching all the buildings for Fitzgerald, the French man says that he saw Fitzgerald leaving the camp, and he said he was headed towards texas. Henry Rushes to meeting room and finds that the lockbox that had everyone’s paycheck was broken into and everything was missing.Fitzgerald had cleaned the safe out. Henry then confronts Bridger with his rifle and beats the young man to the ground and puts him in the stockade.

Glass Stops Henry and vouches for Bridger because he was only following orders to leave Glass there to starve and die. Bridger then says he saw Ftizgerald kill hawk in front of glass. Once Glass heard Fitzgerald was headed for texas he wanted to hunt him down, henry requested that they get a team together and hunt Fitzgerald together. Glass wanted to hunt him down on his own and get his long overdue revenge Hearing that Fitzgerald is heading for Texas, Glass requests that he seek the man out himself. Henry declines and follows Glass into the woods to kill Fitzgerald

After riding into the forest they encounter Fitzgerald, and they begin to separate and go on either side of Fitzgerald. Henry wants to bring Fitzgerald back to the outpost and have him tried for murder, then have him executed. Henry and Fitzgerald pull their guns out on each other and Fitzgerald fires and kills Henry. Fitzgerald rides away and leaves the body, Glass comes out of the trees and sees henry’s body , he throws it on the back of the horse and begins to follow the tracks of Fitzgerald. Glass rides into the view of Fitzgerald , and Fitzgerald fires his gun and hits Henry’s already dead body, Fitzgerald thinking he killed Glass, but then Glass gets a shot of at Fitzgerald, fitzgerald runs and thenGlass begins to pursue fitzgerald. They Corner each other in the woods and tries to shoot glass, he fires then misses. Fitzgerald runs down by the creek, then Glass appears out of the woods and they begin to fight down by the creek. Fitzgerald pulls a knife on Glass nearly stabbing him, but Glass tries to grab the knife only to find that Fitzgerald had impaled the knife in Glass’ hand, Glass seemed unphased and continue to fight back against Fitzgerald. Glass almost won because of how weak Fitzgerald was from losing a lot of blood after getting shot. Fitzgerald then looks at Glass and says “ You know killing me won’t get your boy back” . Before getting the finishing move on Fitzgerald he notices that across the creek, the indians had powaqa because glass was still under chase from them. He decides not to kill Fitzgerald and knows that revenge is in God’s hands. Glass pushes Fitzgerald into the river where he floats over to the other side with the indians. The Indians did not go after glass because the little girl had said that glass freed her from being raped, they then slit the throat of Fitzgerald.

Once that whole scene was over, the film shines light on its denouement where Glass was all alone again and began walking through the cold.He couldn’t take it anymore and fell straight to his knees and sees one final vision / hallucination. This time it was off his beautiful wife walking into the light in the distance. The movie ends with the light fading out and the camera panning to a closeup of Glass’ eyes and ends with him tearing up . This was such a powerful scene, made me tear up at the end just because of the relationship the director had established from the beginning of the film and the audience really got to connect to Glass and know what he’s been through throughout the film.

Iñárritu, the Director made it clear who was the protagonist and the antagonist, from the beginning. The protagonist being Leonardo Dicapro’s Character, Hugh Glass, and the antagonist being Tom Hardy’s character , Fitzgerald. These relations were established early off in the beginning when Fitzgerald is offered money to stay with Glass, because he knows he is going to die, Fitzgerald, then begins to torment with Glass almost pushing him to the end, then ends up killing Glass’ son right in front of him. Fitzgerald then proceeds to bury Glass alive, and tries to kill Glass numerous times. Fitzgerald is the one setting Glass back, and is the reason Glass ended up where he did.

Glass being the protagonist or the one who things happen to. Has a lot happen to him during the film, he wanted his son to fight and be strong , then ends up getting mauled by a bear , he then fights for his life and faces every worst possible situation that could happen in life. Glass overcomes these obstacles by having and end goal of getting revenge on Fitzgerald for what he did to his son. Fitzgerald on the other hand, had a lot going on with him as well, nothing like Glass because he wasn’t as heroic as Glass, Fitzgerald just wanted some money , and then was faced with Bridger and Glass’ son being in the way of him getting his money, so he killed the son , then led bridger away so Glass could die and he could get his money.

This film had a lot of great characters , while mainly focusing on Leonardo dicaprio’s character ,Hugh glass and his enemy , fitzgerald who was played by Tom hardy. There wasn’t much screen time for any of the other actors, it was primarily focused on Glass’ journey to Seek revenge and vengeance. My Favorite character throughout the entirety of the film was Glass, from the beginning he was trying to be a good father to his son, then through the whole movie he is the one the audience was rooting for to get his revenge. Glass goes through a huge character change throughout the film, and the character arc of him becomes really visible. He shined light on the films themes , these themes include and act of revenge so great is out of human control, it’s in the hands of God, You can survive any amount of pain and suffering if you have something greater to live for, and the theme of Man Vs the wild. Glass was an amazing character in the film in my opinion because he stayed true to his character the whole time and you could see the themes breakthrough and progress just as he did throughout the film. Once he gets his vengeance he feels unfulfilled, because now he is alone again. As many times as I have seen this movie the one line that always sticks out to me is one of Glass’ most prominent lines “ I’m not afraid to die, ive already done it.” I love this line because it shows how glass has been through hell and back, and nothing can stop him, the pure drive and dedication of this film is purely why I enjoy it so much. After seeing this movie countless times , I look forward to the next time i get to see it because it’s such an excellent film. I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time, some are good, some are bad , some are mediocre , but I can’t even describe how I feel about this movie, I love the feeling I get when I watch it. That is why The Revenant is my favorite film

Works Cited

  1. The Revenant (2015) IMDB https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663202/
  2. The Revenant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Revenant_(2015_film)#Cast
  3. “The Revenant “ 20th Century Fox (2015)     

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