The Stretch


Meanwhile another soft tomato - see it to believe it.

The Revenant wins 3 Golden Globes but is a tedious plod through blood and snow.

Based on the true story of fur trapper Hugh Glass, a party of soldiers is collecting pelts in 1823’s snowy winter around North Dakota.  They are attacked by the Arikara, searching for the chief’s abducted girl, Powaqa.  

Glass, their tracker, is mauled to near death by a mother grizzly.  Two soldiers Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Bridger remain with the dying Glass and his half-Indian son, Hawk.  Fitzgerald, tries to suffocate Glass and stabs Hawk.  He tells Bridger, Hawk has disappeared but the Arikara are close, convincing him to abandon Glass.  

Glass seals the hole in his throat by burning it and lives to save the girl, Powaqa, whilst she is being raped in a French camp.  A Pawnee who befriends him is hung by the French.  Glass is chased off a cliff in a fall that kills his horse.  He sleeps, naked and bloody inside a dead but warm bison.  Finally, Glass is allowed to live by the Arikara in exchange for saving Powaqa.  

It’s a tight plot, by the book and what makes the film watchable is the beautiful if unforgiving landscape, a haunting musical score and the raw power of Leonardo Di Caprio as Glass.

The grittiness of Alejandro Innartu’s directing - 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful - is in his usual style, close to the bone.  In a story so rooted in realism, the constant resurrection of Glass jars the senses.  By the time Glass reaches the final battle with Fitzgerald, all emotions are exhausted to numbness; you simply don’t care anymore.