a ghastly ghost

My daughter sort of dragged me to watch The Revenant as it just came out in French cinemas and I reluctantly agreed as I had read about magnificent winter and mountain sceneries, shot in an unusually wide format with real light. And indeed the landscape and background of the entire movie are magnificent, mostly shot in the Canadian Rockies, around Kananaskis and Canmore, which is on the way to Banff. (Plus a bit in Squamish rain forest.) The story is however quite a disappointment as it piles up one suspension of disbelief after another. This is a tale of survival (as I presume everyone knows!) but so implausible as to cancel any appreciation of the film. It may be the director Iñárritu is more interested in a sort of new age symbolism than realism, since there are many oniric passages with floating characters and falling meteors, desecrated churches and pyramids of bones, while the soundtrack often brings in surreal sounds, but the impossible survival of Hugh Glass made me focus more and more on the scenery… While the true Hugh Glass did manage to survive on his own, fixing his broken leg, scrawling to a river, and making a raft that brought him to a fort downstream, [warning, potential spoilers ahead!] the central character in the movie takes it to a fantasy level as he escapes hypothermia while swimming in freezing rapids, drowning while wearing a brand new bearskin, toxocariasis while eating raw liver,  bullets when fleeing from both Araka Indians and French (from France, Louisiana, or Québec???) trappers, a 30 meter fall from a cliff with not enough snow at the bottom to make a dent on, subzero temperatures while sleeping inside a horse carcass [and getting out of it next morning when it should be frozen solid], massive festering bone-deep wounds, and the deadly Midwestern winter… Not to mention the ability of make fire out of nothing in the worst possible weather conditions or to fire arrows killing men on the spot or to keep a never ending reserve of bullets. And while I am at it, the ability to understand others: I had trouble even with the French speaking characters, despite their rather modern French accent!

4 Responses to “a ghastly ghost”

  1. blippityblop Says:

    “suspension of belief after another”
    you mean “suspension of disbelief after another”?

  2. Georges Henry Says:

    bah, j’ai aime ce film, meme si tout est surhumain, chaque sequence dit quelque chose de l’existence epouvantable des trappeurs en 1825 entre Saint Louis, le Montana et le Wyoming. As usual, comme dans tout film hollywoodien, les Francais sont des personnages negatifs (ici violeurs et apres au gain). Il est recommande de lire le livre dont le film est tire, il est plus realiste

    • Merci bien pour tes commentairs, G.! Si j’en crois mes quelques lectures, le conflit derrière cette histoire est surtout mercantile, les trappeurs indépendants ne voulant plus dépendre de compagnies comme la Hudson’s Bay Company et tous les Européens voulant se passer des Indiens comme intermédiaires. La version castor du capitalisme sauvage, en quelque sorte!

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