An Jo on the Revenant

This piece originally appeared on BOLLYBRIT

The Revenant (meaning someone who returns from the dead), as it turns out in the hands of Alejandro G. Iñárritu, comes across more as the success and a symbol of cinematic magnetism than a tale of human ‘spirit’ as many clichéd descriptions would have you believe. Every frame, every shot is bathed with the beauty that cinema can achieve and through that, the ugliness that can be refracted. The juxtaposition of ethereal snow-filled caps and pleasantly flowing brooks with the sight of a man wallowing in pus-infected animal-wounds or eating a dead animal’s liver – puking, but still eating— under-scoring Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ theory as a ‘lived’ experience — is something for the visual senses only cinema can provide. In reality, this experience is difficult to experience whether one is either a subject or an object of that experience. But cinema provides a vantage point to visualize and sink into and Iñárritu leaves no snow-ball unturned in this tale of a man’s survival story only to extract vengeance on a man that betrayed and left him and his son for dead in the wintry-wild of South Dakota.

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21 Responses to “An Jo on the Revenant”

  1. I read your review boss. Sab reviewers ki chutti kar di aap ne. You should seriously consider this as your main profession. Loved the review and everything you said on my Leo.


  2. ‘The bear is but doing what it is supposed to do; protecting her kin!! You can feel the pain and physical injury and helplessness of Glass, but never the pity for him or any sense of hatred for the animal.’

    It is this sort of insight and its abiity to put us in the shoes of these men living in such close proximity to wild nature, almost as a part of it, that makes the film a truly great one. Reminds one of Herzog’s achievment in films like ‘Aguirrre, The Wrath of God’.

    You capturred the greaness of the film bang on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are two villains. or three? Bear, harsh nature and man.


  4. Great review,An JO.
    The Revenant is a tough film to watch but ultimately, very rewarding. One has to doff his cap to Inaritu and DiCaprio. Probably a far tougher film to shoot than to watch.
    One can only marvel at the commitment of these people to their vision and the lengths that they are prepared to go to bring that vision alive onscreen. The film stays with you for a long time and continues to grow in you.
    It deserves in my books to be the Oscar winner for the best film, director and male actor. Thought , it will probably end up getting two out of theee. I won’t be surprised if gets all three, though.
    January for me was the month of The Revenant and Airlift.


  5. thanks to GF…


  6. This was a fine read An Jo.. thanks for sharing. I’d disagree on the Tom Hardy point but an interesting piece throughout.


  7. My review of ‘ The Big Short’:

    The year 2008. Our small, niche ad agency is barely into its first financial quarter, and our biggest and most loyal client of over two decades sent us a mail cancelling all the ads committed for the rest of the year. We said we had already made bookings. Never mind, we will pay the cancellation charges, was the reply. We didn’t know what hit us. We thought we have been through ups and downs and we will weather this one. We tightened our girdles and went about looking for new clients. Forget new clients, even our old clients in the IT sector started cutting down on their recruitment ads, which were our bread and butter those days. And so it went on for 3 years in the face of our indomitable optimism, forcing us to close the agency eventually in 2011.

    We did not know it at first, but eventually we learnt that our misfortunes, and similar or worse misfortune of millions of others, were caused by the housing market crash in the USA. Now comes a brilliant film directed by Adam McKay based on the best-selling non-fiction book by Michael Lewis to help us make sense of what really happened.

    Read the rest at:


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