The Revenant: Gimme Back My Gun!, by David Bax

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3 Responses

  1. Bax completely missed the boat on this film. Glas actually did survive. So the character’s survival in the film isn’t actually fiction at all. It’s history. And it lends itself, therefore to a cinematic endeavor. Inarritu is allowed to change some of the story for dramatic effect.
    Sadly, Bax also thinks there’s some kind of political incorrectness going on . . . to wit:
    the Native Americans in The Revenant are depicted more as another agent of the hostile landscape than as fellow humans. For what’s it worth, the same can be said of the French characters.
    This is pure bunk. The Arikara warriors WERE hostile and so they were properly treated as part of the hostile landscape. They wanted to kill all the white men. Did Bax want them invited to a campfire for a round of Christmas Carols? Fellow humans indeed.

    • Spencer says:

      I think you might’ve missed the boat on the review.

      First, I don’t think Bax was saying that the movie was disappointing because Glass survives. Rather, he’s saying that it’s disappointing because the substance runs thin while the film keeps going.

      Second, I don’t think Bax was troubled so much by the idea of a politically incorrect portrayal of Native Americans as much as he was troubled by the fact that the film doesn’t add any element of humanity to the Arikari.

      Proving my point: Bax writes “for what it’s worth, the same can be said of the French characters.” This means that both Europeans and Native Americans were treated similarly in the film. It’s just disappointing that they were portrayed as enemies, rather than enemies with at least some semblance of humanity.

  2. James says:

    I think you missed the mark on the Native Americans. You mention they are more part of the landscape rather than fellow human beings, but there are very few character details for anyone. Thus, we have to work with the few details we are provided for every character. The Native American chief knows multiple languages which the French commander fails to grasp. The chief also left fur pelts for the French camp when they took their horses which paints the picture of someone with honor even though he let on that he doesn’t think the French have any honor. We also know he is driven by his desire to find his daughter which felt like a very human drive and certainly doesn’t make me think the Native Americans lack humanity.

    All of this is about the chief, so the other Native Americans in his group we don’t know much about. However, as I mentioned I think this is fair since there are few characters we are given many details on. In addition, Glass is saved by another Native American from a different tribe and he works to keep Glass alive while also bonding with him in the snowflake scene. Furthermore, we learn his tribe was attacked by a different tribe they killed his wife. That highlighted that it wasn’t just English/French vs Native Americans. It made us realize the tribes are fighting as well and probably to them the English and French are just another group to have to compete with in the area.

    The movie has a big focus on violence and fighting. The Native Americans don’t seem to fare any better or worse in their portrayal. Everyone is fighting to live or fighting for revenge or fighting for greed and they are another group with their own reason to fight.

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