DiCaprio Gets Stuck On The Second Stage Of Grief In The Revenant
If you don’t know what a revenant is, it’s probably because you don’t meet many—it’s someone who has returned, supposedly from the dead. Leonardo DiCaprio is The Revenant in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest film, based on the 2002 novel by Michael Punke. It’s a fictionalized version of 19th century frontiersman Hugh Glass’s life story. Glass was left for dead by his hunting party after a grizzly (sorry) encounter with a bear. He crawled across 320 kilometres of inhospitable mountain terrain to get back home. In winter. There is no record of Glass ever referring to his ordeal as “a learning experience” or “an opportunity for personal growth.” Mostly he was just really pissed off at the two guys who tossed him into a grave before he was ready.
The real Glass felt that his former companions added insult to near-mortal injury by also swiping his rifle. In the film, the drama is pitched higher after Glass’s arch enemy (played by Tom Hardy) does irreparable harm to something he holds even dearer. His despair over the loss drives him go after Hardy’s character in an attempt to settle a score.
Surviving so that you can kill the guy who made your life a living hell isn’t what most psychotherapists would consider a healthy way to deal with your grief, but, against odds, it works for Glass. And so, just in time for the cold weather, we present you with The Hugh Glass Guide To Surviving The Elements Long Enough To Get Back At The Guy Who Ruined Your Life:
Step 1: Deny, deny, deny
This stage was key for Leo—had his character skipped straight to accepting his fate he never would have crawled out of his own grave. If death seems certain to you, survival is no longer an option.
Step 2: Get mad, stay mad
Forget letting go of your anger. Sentimentality doesn’t brace your stomach for raw buffalo meat. Forgiveness doesn’t start fires. Rage does that.
Step 3: Make no bargains
You can’t send a slightly peeved guy to do a royally pissed off, self-righteous maniac’s job. And as the maniac in question, revenge must be yours and yours alone.
Step 4: Try to have fun
Depression is a 21st century luxury. Take pleasure in the little things, like catching snowflakes on your tongue with a new friend.
Step 5: Acceptance is just another word for defeat
Did the object your revenge-lust slip through your grip once again? Keep after him. Don’t stop until both you and he are mere husks of the men you once were. If there is still a single shred of humanity left inside of you, push on until you’ve forgotten what that even means.
The Revenant chills theatres across Canada January 8. Watch the trailer below.