I saw The Revenant by preview first and then on the big screen, which is the way it should be seen. I thought it had a very strong Nietzschean theme and was very beautiful in fact. Some critics have compared it to Apocalypse Now – but more a Heart-of-Darkness-on-land affair than a carry-on-up-the-river one – but certainly a valid comparison.
One of the things I liked was the movie's misanthropic view of humanity. It showed everyone being a c*nt, basically. Everyone was terrifying and cruel – both the White settlers and hunters for pelts, and the local indigenous Indians, who, when not killing white men, kill each other. But this darkness is tempered with a little Terrence-Malick-style grace, as well as rare touches of kindness and communication here and there. This balanced it all out for me, and made it a much more rounded work of contemporary cinema.
There is the infamous ‘Bear Rape’ scene of internet legend and memes. This is not an actual rape, but just an attack involving a female bear, but it sort of looks like a rape, so, if you find that funny, keep thinking it. The problem, however, is that Glass is torn up so bad that I doubt medical science even today could have patched him together, never mind back then.
|The "Wolf of Wall Street" gets mauled by the bear of the backwoods.|
For the Alt Right community, especially folks like Jack Donovan, this film has plenty – and I mean plenty – of alpha male aggression. It is basically just about revenge between two tough aggressive men – grrrr!
I’ve read a few lily-livered Cultural Marxists critiques of this film. They complain that it’s "suffering porn" or that it’s too male-centred (Wow! How did that happen?) and so on. That is just horse shit. We on the Alt Right are made of tougher stuff, and will lap this up like sweet morning dew.
Tom Hardy plays a fine villain in Fitzgerald, the actual name of someone who crossed Glass, but here he also seems to be the "designated carrier of White evil," a common enough device in most big Hollywood films these days. Fitzgerald is a realist, who wants to get his pelts back to camp, make a pretty penny, and head South to join the klan in Texas, or some such thing. But, alas, a marauding bunch of pesky Injuns take the Cowboys and Indians stuff up a few levels with a particularly vicious attack on some harmless White settlers. This happens early on and totally sets the brutal mood that then persists throughout the movie. It’s cruel, super violent, and nihilistic, with both sides copping a serious hiding and no one really winning.
That’s sort of the theme of the piece, but in the end Glass has a victory of sorts. After he is injured, you see Fitzgerald offered a handsome reward to take care of him until he dies. Two young men stay behind to help – one the Indian half-breed son of Glass, the other a White lad Fitzgerald has taken under his wing – a surrogate son to Glass's real one.
Well, Fitzgerald being who he is, takes offence at the half-breed and sends him packing to Indian Valhalla, then leaves Glass to die in the wilderness. From these acts springs the cycle of revenge that is the engine of the movie.
|With Eternal Return each |
one of us is a pile of skulls.
Of course, cinema itself is a perfect expression of Eternal Return: we can make any film we like, but, once it's made, it's that way forever and ever, and will be played the same way over and over again. Nietzsche felt that life was perhaps like this. He may have been correct, but if he was, he clearly will be again, and if he is, then Hugh Glass (and Leonardo DiCaprio) can expect the mama bear to keep on finding him.