Oscar time is upon us again, The Revenant being one of the front-runners this year. AJ and I went to see it the other day on $5 movie night, and I am really glad it only cost us $5!
To begin with, the whole movie was cold and gray. And white. Snow everywhere. And the bear who caused all the trouble- shouldn’t she have been hibernating? It’s the dead of winter, right? I was on her side; after all, she was protecting her cubs, and at that point I wasn’t thrilled with DiCaprio’s character anyway. But the movie wasn’t pleasant to watch, cold and desperate, brutal and mean scenes over and over again, too many unpleasant incidents involving animals, and I just don’t believe 17th century men, even rough men like these, would have thrown the f-word around as casually as these did.
And cold. Did I mention the cold? Trapper Hugh Glass may have been a true-life revenant-someone who came back from the dead or reappeared after a long absence-did you look it up? I did-but realistically, surely frostbite leading to gangrene would have killed him before he would have made it back to the fort because he was in and out of bitter weather, snow, and icy water the whole time. Or perhaps the Hollywood version had more ice and snow situations for more drama.
I also found it interesting that by the time Glass/DiCaprio, after his rescue, left the fort in search of his revenge, his very damaged leg seemed to magically be healed, and he got along just fine. Speaking of magic, I suspect movie magic also played a part in that nasty bear, and the raw heart and live fish Di Caprio ate. Maybe not, but I bet he didn’t have to eat the real deal in either case.
The scene where DiCaprio’s character has his epiphany and supposedly realizes revenge is better left to a higher power, or something to that effect as stated earlier by one of the Indians, has been lauded by some in the religious community as a positive side of the movie. Well, I guess, but he is more than willing to let his nemesis, after beating him senseless, float down stream to the waiting Indians, who are more than willing to finish the job. So he still got what he wanted, didn’t he?
Let’s not forget director Alejandro Inarritu’s indictment of nasty capitalism running rampant that caused the whole predicament in the first place-fur trappers ravaging the wilderness for furs to satisfy a fur company, and DiCaprio’s indictment of early Americans’ mistreatment of the Indians. Which they did, in terrible fashion. This movie won’t change the past, but it does give DiCaprio a platform from which to pontificate about the injustice done to Native Americans. Then there is also the irony, nay, the hypocrisy of attacking capitalism while using capitalist-earned dollars to make this movie which will in turn make the director and actor more and more dollars. Capitalism in action. Hmmmm.
I’m not sure this is DiCaprio’s most Oscar-worthy performance, either. This role was very physical, so I am sure it was difficult in that respect, but as far as the acting skill, I think he probably did a better job of acting in The Wolf of Wall Street, another movie that I disliked, perhaps because he did such a stellar job of making the wolf such a despicable character. In The Revenant, he mostly did a bunch of grunting and grimacing.
So spend your money on Mr. Leo if you wish, and I will watch the Oscars again this year like I always do. Then we will see if you agree with me, and who walks away with the Oscars. Get the popcorn ready.