While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member (Tom Hardy) of his hunting team kills his young son (Forrest Goodluck) and leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, the legendary fur trapper treks through the snowy terrain to track down the man who betrayed him.
The legend of American frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass, who was left for dead after being mauled by a bear in the early 1820s, inspired Richard C Sarafian’s 1971 film Man in the Wilderness, in which Richard Harris starred as “Zachary Bass”. Now it returns to the screen in a film based in part on Michael Punke’s 2002 book The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge.
Leonardo DiCaprio having previously been Oscar-nominated for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and most recently The Wolf of Wall Street, it’s clearly DiCaprio’s turn to triumph with a performance which relies more upon physicality than the spoken word.
Fitzgerald impales Glass’ hand, but Glass overpowers him and nearly finishes him off until Fitzgerald states that killing him won’t bring his boy back. On the other side of the creek, Glass sees the Indians that have been pursuing him, now with Powaqa. He decides that revenge is in God’s hands, so he pushes Fitzgerald into the water and lets him float over to the Indians. The chief grabs Fitzgerald and kills him with his knife. They spare Glass since Powaqa tells them that Glass freed her.
Although he has gotten his revenge, Glass is alone once again, wandering through the cold land. He falls on his knees and sees a vision of his wife once again walking into the light. The final shot is of Glass’ eyes filling up with tears.