Leonardo DiCaprio portrays a father who will sacrifice everything for his son.
When I saw the trailer for The Revenant, I honestly didn’t know what to expect from the movie. A guy in the woods, in the dead of winter, fighting a bear. It didn’t appeal to any of my interests.
However, thanks to all of the previous Oscar buzz surrounding Leonardo Dicaprio and said bear, I decided to give it a try.
Despite it moving incredibly slow, I understood the hype. It has become one of my favorite man versus nature films. It does far more showing than telling. But what makes it memorable and worthy of the awards praise is that, at its core, it’s about family and love.
Being a protector is a role that men covet. We base many of our life decisions on the protection and preservation of the ones we love the most. In The Revenant, it’s the love between a father and his son that drives the hunger for revenge.
Leonardo Dicaprio endures insurmountable obstacles. The movie perfectly exhibits the notion that men will do go to ends of the earth for family. Dicaprio literally does this. His journey is filled with silence. It’s in that anguish that we see how man’s greatest battle is always mental.
Not only is Dicaprio fighting against the elements of nature, but he’s always fighting against time. Man can only survive for so long completely by himself. When the pressure is on us, it’s the fire within that serves as our fuel to carry on.
As someone who isn’t yet a father, I was still able to put myself in the shoes of a man who had lost everything. His family, his money, his strength. I also connected with the father-son relationship itself. Our sons look to us to define what manhood is and masculinity is supposed to look like. They learn lessons of courage and responsibility by watching us.
The Revenant opens by introducing us to a father and son on a journey with the son closely mirroring what his father does. Those memories are embedded and the flashbacks become central to the entire plot. Every father wants to raise a son who’s better than him in every way.
Men are often told that it’s not healthy to hold vengeance in your heart. Although, The Revenant shows what a man’s love can look like and how we never hesitate to sacrifice ourselves in the name of love.
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