Movie Mondays: The Revenant

Last week, my friend Cole and I decided to venture out in the DC Snowpocolypse to watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film,  The Revenant.  Up for numerous awards this Oscar season, I was interested to see what all the hubbub was about.

From the opening scene to the end, The Revenant is a cinematic masterpiece.  Sweeping landscape views, constant dramatic story lines, and even a moral at the end. The Revenant will keep you up at night wondering, “What exactly just happened there?”

Leonardo DiCaprio

Of course the story line on all the media outlets is the fact that Leo hasn’t won the big prize.  He’s been nominated for some great roles in movie history, but unfortunately hasn’t ever been able to bring home the little gold statue.

But if ever there was a time to reward an actor for an incredible job, this may be Leo’s year.

Working on a film last year I had the opportunity to see how actors move from scene to scene out of sequence.  I remember thinking, “I’ve got a pretty easy role here. I wonder what it’s like for someone to carry a character through several scenes and keep the story flowing?” In the theater, it’s not as difficult.   The linear way an actor works in the theater helps to contextualize the obvious character development; but, in movies you might shoot the last scene first without any narrative to work from.

If you’re interested in seeing some great craftsmanship, The Revenant is a must.

The Story

Without ruining the story for you, The Revenant is the story of a scout who works for a colonial outpost.  He travels with his Native American son to help the fur industry in the 1800’s.

Due to a significant accident, the members of the fur trade are posed with a life and death question.  They have to decide to leave the scout behind to die, or try the perilous journey through a wide mountain range carrying the injured scout, “Glass.”

I’ll keep the details of the story to the bare minimum, but the reality of the dramatic vehicle helps to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Wondering what will be the fate of Glass in the wilderness keeps the audience peering around the next corner for the dangers of the wild, unforgiving terrain.

The Moral

I’ve been thinking about The Revenant for a few days.  The story of revenge, the thrill of survival, and the unexpected guests met along the journey were all well placed throughout the script.

But the ending was probably the most impactful.

Dealing with life and death issues drive many of our great modern cinematic classics, and I find myself wondering, “What would I do in that situation?”

If you decide to go and see The Revenant I implore you to think about the larger issues the movie attempts to present an audience.  Based on a true story, it helps to bring home some intrinsic human values we all need to think through.

We may never have to guide someone through the wilderness over great mountains, but we all have an individual moral code we have to wrestle with to live from day to day.

It’s a long one, so get ready to sit for a while; but, overall, I would definitely recommend The Revenant with a follow up discussion hosted by family or friends.

Happy Monday!

1 Comment

  1. ………..thanx! What would we “really” do, in all kinds of situations, takes us beyond just opinions. Keep your creative wisdom coming, Mr. Braner. See you soon………..!!!

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