ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: The Revenant

Updated on January 21, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.


In 2015, Alejandro G. Iñárritu released The Revenant, based in part on Michael Punke’s 2002 novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Isaiah Tootoosis, Arthur RedCloud, Grace Dove, Paul Anderson, Brendan Fletcher, Kristoffer Jones, Melaw Nakehk’o, Duane Howard, Brad Carter, Lukas Haas, and Tyson Wood, the film has grossed $160.5 million at the box office as of January 21, 2016. Nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Original Score, winning the awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Actor – Drama, the film was also nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, and Best Production Design.


In the early 1820s, a fur trapping expedition is nearing the end of its operation when they are attacked by Ree. They escape with barely any of the trappers left alive and their frontiersman and guide, Hugh Glass, decides to abandon the boat and travel by land. However, Glass is mauled by a bear and is left behind with his son and two members of the party for a proper burial, including John Fitzgerald who believes it’s too dangerous to wait for Glass to die.


Using nothing but natural light, The Revenant is a great film, especially in how it shows the power of a parent’s love. It seems that all the conflict in the film stems from it as well. For one, the event that really sets off the film’s main plot happens because Glass just happened to get in the middle of a mother bear and her cubs. Further, Glass’ whole motivation throughout the film is due to how he loved his son and wants to get Fitzgerald for what he did and he also continues to remind himself of how much he loved Hawk by carving “Fitzgerald killed my son” wherever he goes. What’s more is the entire reason the Ree attack throughout the film is because the chief is fueled by love for his daughter and a desire to rescue her.

Speaking of the film’s Native Americans, they are given a wonderful depiction in the film and not portrayed as bloodthirsty savages or the magical sidekicks meant to help the main character along their journey. Rather, the film shows them realistically. As stated above, the reason they’re attacking all the white men is because they’re not sure who has the chief’s daughter and are blinded by rage and the quest to get her back. There’s also the Pawnee who Glass comes across. It shows him as knowing how to help Glass survive the oncoming snowstorm and recover from his wounds. Yet, it also gives him some surprising characterization with the character barely speaking at all. The film shows him as having the same sense of wonder and enjoyment as Glass does when it comes to the falling snow with both of them trying to catch a snowflake on their tongues.

Said character showing wonder and enjoyment at the snow is just one instance of great acting within the film. DiCaprio and Hardy give some wonderful performances in the film, making their Academy Award nominations well deserved. The former really puts some great emotion into the character and the audience can really feel just how Glass feels during his whole quest for revenge against Fitzgerald. There’s also the ending, when Glass has finally realized that his quest for revenge and killing Fitzgerald won’t bring Hawk back along with remembering how the Pawnee told him that revenge is for the Creator. DiCaprio looks into the camera and put so much emotion into that thousand yard stare that he’s able to make the audience just a bit uncomfortable and wonder, possibly along with Glass, just what he does now, alone and wounded on that mountain.

Hardy also puts a lot into the character of Fitzgerald and gives a great portrayal of someone who is just plain sociopathic. When the Ree attack, his main concern isn’t on aiding any of the other trappers, all he cares about is preserving the pelts. Further, the only reason Fitzgerald decides to stay with Hawk and Bridger to watch over Glass is because he’s promised a reward and when left alone with the man, Fitzgerald tries to convince Glass that it would be better for the party to carry out a mercy killing. Fitzgerald also wonderfully shows sociopathic cowardice when Captain Henry finds out that Glass is still alive by trying to flee instead of facing justice.

5 stars for The Revenant

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • carleelloyd profile image

      Carlee Lloyd 

      2 years ago

      revenant was an awesome movie. It really grabbed at my emotions and shocked me pretty early on in the beginning. I would definitely recommend it to other people and watch it again. I think leonardo is an excellent actor, he plays so many dynamic roles and they are always full of life and often heart ache. I also though Tom Hardy did an excellent job at making me hate his character throughout the whole movie. I think it also held many truths about the time period.

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 

      2 years ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      Definitely the better 2015 western than the empty The Hateful Eight.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)