Throwback Thursday: The Revenant Movie Reflection: Extra Credit

Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.


The Revenant Movie Reflection: Extra Credit

The Revenant is a survival story, which seems odd for a movie whose body count reaches the double digits before we’ve even made it past the first scene. But it fits, when death is a real possibility for the characters, it raises the stakes, leaving you tense as to whether or not the characters you are rooting for will actually survive. The title is especially fitting, as revenant means “one who has returned, as if from the dead”.

The Revenant doesn’t pull any punches. Between the high stakes of death, the emotion shown by family and friends when a loved one is injured or killed it feels real. Even more so when you realize that the gore from a fight doesn’t disappear in the next scene, wounds carry and do not becomes magically healed for convenience, as is often the case in movies. The Revenant also makes use of the setting’s native language to not only make the story seem genuine, it makes it impossible for the viewer to become disengaged or distracted from the story, because you have to pay such close attention to what they are saying by keeping your eyes on the screen, lest you miss an important detail. It seems to do justice to the true-life story of Hugh Glass on which it is based, and neither glorifies nor infantilizes his struggle.

The setting is used incredibly effectively; they are not simply in a forest. The animals, even when unimportant to the plot, make noises in the background. Frost clings

to eyelashes. People cough, sniffle and shiver even when the attention is not on them. Leonardo Dicaprio conveys much of his emotion and thoughts without speaking for a part of the film. It comes as no surprise that the movie was not only nominated for, but won, Oscars.

The Revenant is a phenomenal film, with heart-wrenching, wonderful acting and amazing, if a little hard to stomach, cinematography. It makes great use of suspense and the progression of the plot, making sure you feel every consequence, and every uncertainty the characters feel. Every action comes with high stakes, and you never feel like there is a certainty in how the movie will continue. I highly recommend The Revenant.

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