Review: The Revenant

[This will contain SPOILERS]

If you don’t know already, The Revenant is based on the true story of Hugh Glass who was a fur trapper, frontiersman, hunter and explorer. There are parts of the movie that are true to the actual accounts and there are parts that are false. If you are squeamish and faint at the site of blood you shouldn’t watch this movie. Just a little warning, there’s a lot of blood and gore in this movie. The entire movie was done in the winter time and in very harsh conditions. They didn’t want to do a green screen, they wanted it to be more realistic.

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The movie was filmed in Canada and apparently the temperatures never went above -30 degrees Celsius which is about -22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a point even that they couldn’t continue filming because it was too cold. They couldn’t use their cellphones because there was no reception. Production was interrupted occasionally because of fear of bear attacks. DiCaprio was also sick during production and had the flu while there were filming. I’m sure the rest of the production crew got sick as well. Here in the US we aren’t used to such cold conditions, let alone being in freezing water. Clothes that get wet would definitely instantly freeze. It’s no wonder that there were several film crew members left. At some point it got so cold that the had to take a few weeks break before continuing filming.

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DiCaprio definitely did a fantastic job with this movie. I was never a huge fan of him but he did a great job with this role. He really went above and beyond and he deserves to win something for this movie. There were even parts that didn’t require any lines but he still managed to move the audience and pulled us into the scene with just his acting skills. A good actor doesn’t need to speak to be good. I can’t even imagine how much he had to endure in such conditions and I’m not surprised that other actors turned the role down. He even had to bite into a real animal liver even though he is a vegetarian. That’s dedication!

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So the parts of the movie that aren’t true….Glass didn’t have a son and the part where he was married to a Native American woman is known as a legend. People assumed that he may have learned his hunting skills from Native Americans but that is just conjecture. Also, the bear attack happened in the summer instead of winter. And since Glass didn’t have a son, he didn’t seek revenge for his death. And at the end where it seemed like he died, he actually died of an attack from a group of Native Americans later on in his life. It was a pretty violent death which lead him to be violently killed and scalped along with his two companions. The journey he went through and the hundreds of miles he traveled might have been a tad bit exaggerated. They say he traveled about 200 miles but it may have been less than that. Also, he was  helped by several friendly Native Americans along the way, not just one.

It’s not surprising why Hollywood wanted to embellish Hugh Glass’ original story. It’s always more fun to tell a tall tale. It’s more entertaining that way I suppose. The theme of revenge is just more popular to most people. I wonder what Hugh Glass would have thought about this movie if he were still alive to see it? This movie was definitely intense and I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. And for those of you who have seen it, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Audience: R
John Wayne factor: 10
Acting: 10
Story: 10
Direction: 10
Would I recommend: Yes

*Note: Based on a scale from 1 to 10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best you could get in a category.

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