Preface: There is a reason that the main protagonist’s photo isn’t shown but that of the supporting character.
The Revenant is basically a story of an injured person building a strong will to stay alive to take revenge on the person who killed his son.
Caught between practical thinking and an indebtedness to Hugh Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio), The Revenant takes us through the journey of the two extremes of human emotions when faced with survival decisions.
John Fitzgerald (played by Tom Hardy) can be called as a negative character but how many of us can be selfless when you have to make a survival decision. Survival, in this context, is about life. It could be survival in business or at work or survival of a relationship. Hugh Glass’ character’s will to be alive can be seen by his willingness to do anything- eat bone marrow off a carcass and raw flesh of a bison to taking out the guts of a dead horse and using the horse’s body as a cave to survive biting cold. Time and again, history is replete with examples of willpower or shall I say mindpower to survive physical extremes.
Bridger’s character (played by Will Poulter) shows the frailty of human emotions. Wanting to do the right thing yet not being able to stand up to the virtues of righteousness.
The Revenant, shot beautifully in cold, icy mountains and streams, it is a metaphor for life. Beautiful, only if you have the eyes to see it, or else, it is simply a piece of barren land.
The last scene of the movie where Glass is about to kill Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald says to Glass that he had come a long way to take revenge and now that he is getting a chance to kill him, enjoy it, because Glass, anyway, isn’t getting his son back. This is one of the most poignant scenes. Makes you think about ‘revenge’ as a reason for live. Alternatively, if Glass did not have revenge on his mind, he would have given up hope and long been dead.
Understanding this dichotomy of life and accepting it is the secret to having control over your mind.
PS: For all the love for Leonardo DiCaprio, chances are that you’ll come out remembering Fitzgerald more than Glass. Had it been any other actor in Glass’ role than Leonardo DiCaprio; Tom Hardy would have been the star of the movie. Leonardo might even win an Oscar for Actor In A Leading Role but Jordon Belfort’s character in Wolf of Wall Street was his zenith. Alejandro González Iñárritu, too, might win an Oscar for Best Director but Birdman was a better movie.