The Revenant: DiCaprio Bringing Masculinity back to Hollywood

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Finally, The Revenant is a movie that is purely masculine, and is not afraid to show it in our current feminized culture. The film is more than just revenge porn. It’s a story of real masculinity, a code and thinking that has been lost in our modern world. There is no “you-go girlism” here. No “girl-power” nonsense. No in-your-face political correctness. No subtle social engineering agenda lurking in the background. No corporate product endorsements. Instead of wasting your dollars getting re-programmed watch Star Wars: The force Awakens go see this film instead as it rings true and resonates honest. They tone and how the film plays out reminds one of the war film Th Thin Red Line (1998) which had related dream sequences throughout the film, flash backs and scale. Back in 1998, The Thin Red Line was considered by critics one of the most deeply philosophical films of our time. The Revenant shares this quality and may even take spotlight now as being one of the most hauntingly philological films in recent memory aside from the former.It was also about a man’s fate and how he becomes his own fate.

The two movies are comparable in that two cultures are clashing over land and dominance of that part of the world. Both films share the thought in how both the main characters deal and come to grips with ‘the enemy’- the White man and the Native ancestors to the land. How there is a sorrowing connection, a deep respect even though they are different and come from different cultures. An understanding of their roles and function within the landscape, and how man struggles with his loyalties and actions in hoping to survive. In both films, we are left with an agent of Fate that has accomplished its purpose, but must now dare to search for a new reason for being.

The film is based on a 2002 novel by Michael Punke, who apparently based his work on the actual experiences of a frontiersman named Hugh Glass. The plot is a simple one, as it should be. The year is 1823, and an expedition of fur-trappers the Western territories is getting ready to transport its haul of pelts (very valuable in those days) back to civilization.

We are told that The Revenant took nine months of gruelling location shooting to piece together. The cast and crew flew to remote locales in Argentina, Canada, and the United States, and all filming was done in natural light. We are thus immersed completely in the blood-freezing beauty and power of Nature, with no filters or barriers between us and the great Reality. That is why this film feels so true and real when viewing, there is no bullshit.

Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hardy star in this haunting survival tale of fur trappers navigating the vast and desolate landscape of 19th century frontier lands in North America. The easy synopsis might go thus: Leonardo DiCaprio’s expert tracker and marksman, Hugh Glass, is mauled by a bear and left for dead by his comrades, not least the treacherous, flea-bitten John Fitzgerald (an almost unrecognisable Tom Hardy). Hauling himself across the icy north-western wilderness, Glass miraculously survives his injuries and resolves to find the man who left him behind. There is, however, far more to Iñárritu’s film than a straight, cathartic revenge tale. The film’s whole sequence of events – the one that leads to Glass’ fateful and incredibly bloody brush with a mother grizzly – is triggered by a domino effect of gruesome conflicts. The first, and most shocking, sees a tribe of Native Americans attacks Glass’ camp, seemingly intent on stealing their haul of animal skins – in reality, they’re on the search for a missing daughter.

There are only the stark, unembellished themes of man’s eternal struggles: courage, adversity, suffering, redemption, and revenge, related with engaging honesty and simplicity. The Revenant achieves philosophic grandeur without one single word of preaching. It just does it by telling its story. And all of these themes are played out against the vast panorama of Nature’s terrifying vastness, which makes all our endeavours seem so pitiful by comparison.

If you tossed 80% of the male population today into the setting, landscape and scenarios that Hugh Glass faced: the horrible weather, constant tomahawk attacks, Natives constantly trying to scalp you, food limited to raw fish and not to mention mother nature throwing everything at you, I guarantee %100 of that 80% would die in a day. Most would off themselves in an instant due to no Wi-Fi or GPS to navigate the harsh terrain. The other percent would starve to death because they don’t know how to start a fire or would want to eat meat because “their vegan,” or “That’s Animal cruelty.” Most of that 80% would also die from being tomahawk at point blank range because they would pick up a musket “Guns are bad…wah wah..” They would all beg for someone else to do the dirty work and would brown their designer jeans all the while, shitting themselves to keep warm as they win the Darwin award for being r-selected in a K-selected world. Think this description is disturbing?

Well, you will enjoy this film because most of the scenes are pretty graphic in nature. This film is so raw and gorgeous that the violence and gore become hauntingly beautiful when matched to the stunning landscapes. The sights, sounds and scenery are breathtaking. The scale in which the viewer sees is gigantic. Some of the shots and the way the cameras are position show brilliantly how small these men were in the vast landscapes that they crossed. Back then you were at the mercy of not just other men, but nature and the director showed this in the best way possible. Everything is huge from the mountains to the trees, and the animals. This story is a reminder as to how far we have come as man, and also what we have lost along the way. Modern society has lost the true man just as Hugh Glass had lost his son. Your life problems today seem pitiful compared to the men of yesteryears.

Startlingly violent but also unspeakably beautiful, The Revenant is a real cinematic achievement. Yet The Revenant remains extraordinary, with at least two moments that made this writer gasp – quite an achievement in an era of bludgeoning special effects.The cold chill that pulses through The Revenant is difficult to shake. It’s a long, brutal, sometimes difficult to watch film, but it’s also an unforgettable one. Allow yourself to immerse into natures cold colours as it grips your throat and squeezes your lungs. Feel the almost limitless scenery as it whispers poetic sequences into your ear through the wind and the trees.

 

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