Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith
Award-winning director and writer Alejandro González Iñárritu has done it again. After directing and producing last year’s Best Motion Picture of the Year, Birdman, the director seems to have picked up right where he left off with his natural knack for capturing the brilliance and darkness of the human experience. In The Revenant, we find ourselves in the frigid and unforgiving 1820’s frontier instead of modern-day, equally bleak New York City as in Birdman.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, a near-mythological frontiersman whose thirst for vengeance and survival serves as the main theme of the film. If Leo doesn’t get his Oscar for this, I don’t know what else he can do to deserve it. Prepare yourself for literal, gut-wrenching gore and violence in the most visceral sense imaginable. I found myself cringing almost as much as I did while looking up my final grades a few weeks ago.
Tom Hardy plays John Fitzgerald, a despicable and brutish figure whose bloodlust runs deep and without fail. Without giving away the entire story, rather the entire battle, audience members will find themselves rooting for Leo every step of the way and after every atrocity that befalls him. Perhaps the even greater tragic figure(s) of the film are the Native Americans whose plights are illustrated in full force. While Leo’s fate is somewhat undetermined at the close of the credits, the Native Americans’ plight is sadly well-documented and historically sickening.
With such political turmoil surrounding a new election, controversial candidates, imminent wars, and seditious enemies, maybe America can pause and reflect on where we’ve come from to know where we should go. History is a cyclical beast, one that should create lessons and warnings alike, and rather than ignore our past or glaze over our shortcomings, I would hope that we all take the chance to truly contemplate on the future we want and deserve as nation.
And now that I’ve given you some food for thought, I’ll give you some wine suggestions to end those thoughts.
Intoxicating to Watch?
Where to Watch: In Theatres Now
What to Drink:
Panilonco Merlot Malbec Reserva
I can’t say enough about this wine. It’s cheap. It’s good. It’s red. This bottle has wonderful notes of plum, dark fruit, and other tasty, tart darkness. It’s perfect for an evening at home with some cheese and crackers. I’d like to imagine that all the berries Leo tries to eat in the film are reminiscent of this wine. Probably not. Poor, poor Leo. This wine can be found at Trader Joe’s for $4.99.