With multiple wins at the recent Golden Globes and major nominations in the upcoming 88th Academy Awards, film “The Revenant” (read my review here) starring Leonardo DiCaprio directed by Academy Award winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu is fiercely strong at the (U.S.) box-office with an incredible opening (Friday, Jan. 8) of $14.4 million, edging out “Star Wars: The Force Awakens’” ($10.75 million) that day.
|Photo credit: 20th Century Fox|
“The Revenant” best seen on the big screen, is on its way to $100 million with an estimated gross of $97 million to-date. Inspired by true events, “The Revenant” is physically intense and emotionally gripping story of a man presumed to be dead but came back to life. The legend of Hugh Glass, as he is regarded to be the revenant, someone who came back from the dead, is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Part thriller, part wilderness journey, The Revenant explores primal drives not only for life itself but for dignity, justice, faith, family and home.
Glass’s mythology began in 1823, when he was among thousands joining the fur trade, a driving new force in the US economy. It was a time when many saw the wild as a spiritual void that demanded to be tamed and conquered by the steeliest of men. And so they poured into the unknown, plying unmapped rivers, disappearing into impossibly lush forests, seeking not only excitement and adventure but also profits -- often in fierce competition with the Native tribes for whom these lands had long been home.
Many such men died anonymously, but Glass entered the annals of American folklore by flat-out refusing to die. His legend sparked after he faced one of the West’s most feared dangers: a startled grizzly bear. For even the most tested frontiersmen that should have been the end. But not for Glass. In Iñárritu’s telling of the tale, a mauled Glass clings to life – then suffers a human betrayal that fuels him to continue at any cost. In spite of tremendous loss, Glass pulls himself from an early grave – clawing his way through a gauntlet of unknown perils and unfamiliar cultures on a journey that becomes not just a search for reckoning but for redemption. As Glass moves through the frontier in turmoil, he comes to reject the urge for destruction that once drove him. He has become a “revenant” -- one returned from the dead.
Adds Leonardo DiCaprio: “The Revenant is an incredible journey through the harshest elements of an uncharted America. It’s about the power of a man’s spirit. Hugh Glass’s story is the stuff of campfire legends, but Alejandro uses that folklore to explore what it really means to have all the chips stacked against you, what the human spirit can endure and what happens to you when you do endure.”
“There are powerful themes for me in the film: the will to live and our relationship with wilderness,” explains DiCaprio of his immediate attraction to the story. “I’ve also previously played a lot of characters who were incredibly articulate in different ways and had a lot to say, so this was a unique challenge for me. It was about conveying things without words or in a different language. A lot of it was about adapting in the moment, about reacting to what nature was giving us and to what Glass was going through as we filmed. It was about exploring the most internal elements of the survival instinct.”
Based in part on Michael Punke’s novel “The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge,” 20th Century Fox and New Regency present “The Revenant,” also starring Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Paul Anderson, Kristoffer Joner, Joshua Burge and Duane Howard.