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The Revenant

Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) barely survives a bear attack and is left to die in the wilderness by a group of hunters. A breathtaking and surreal revenge tale directed by Alejandro Iñárritu.


Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), the REVENANT, fights in two massacres, survives a bear attack, is buried, falls down a canyon, and is dangerously close to freezing and starving to death. The man should be more dead than Oberschöneweide. But revenants can’t stay dead and the man keeps coming back, dragging himself through a hell made of ice and blood with only revenge on his mind. Visions of skull heaps and his murdered wife testify to another world that he already belongs to. THE REVENANT’s protagonist, whose name sounds like “You Glass,” represents the audience and the camera as well as the return of the repressed. The film plays in colonial North America, and it is racism that is being repressed. A Pawnee Indian hangs on a tree with a sign saying “we are all wild” around his neck. It is unclear whether he hung himself or whether he was killed by the colonialists, but the phrasing implies the corrupt troop of French miscreants. The REVENANT is clearly Oscar material. Emmanuel Lubezki’s free-floating steadycam conjures nightmarish survival sequences on-screen, DiCaprio scrunches up his forehead wrinkles more than usual, and Tom Hardy plays a despicable villain very well. The bear attack is so intense that everyone in the cinema was holding their breath and then gave out a collective groan after an especially calculated moment. The mix of fast-paced adventure film, surreal visions, and pessimistic political metaphors is extremely effectively, much like a lot of Alejandro Iñárritu’s work. The technical brilliance obscures its conceptual confusion. THE REVENANT has so many themes that, in the end, it all becomes a blur.

Tom Dorow

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: The Revenant
USA 2015, 151 min
Language: English
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Author: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mark L. Smith
DOP: Emmanuel Lubezki
Montage: Stephen Mirrione
Music: Graeme Revell
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Poulter, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Paul Anderson
FSK: 16
Release: 06.01.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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