Saturday, January 9, 2016

Why men need to see The Revenant

I went with several guys from church to see The Revenant today.  I was a little uncomfortable with the gratuitous language, but it was such a powerful movie, I have to recommended it, especially to the men.   Ok, from here on out there might a plot spoiler or two.... you've been warned.

Here's why men need to see The Revenant:
There should be a powerful bond between fathers & sons, and in this movie the bond between Glass and his son Hawk drives the whole plot.  For some reason, whether it's work or plain being lazy, too many dads today lose out and their sons suffer the loss because we've neglected the most powerful resource for a healthy society, that being, strong relationships between fathers & their sons.  This movie really does a great job of showing the power of the bond.

Next, The Revenant reminds us how weak manhood is these days.  The tough as nails character of Glass who is mauled by a grizzly and then treks through the mountains in the winter after being left for dead, suffering unimaginably, highlights how we've emasculated men in our culture.  Men aren't taught how to be tough, in a healthy way, and we've raised a generation of wimpy men.  You don't have to brawl, abuse others, be a philander, or be mean to be tough (None of which describes Glass's character, he is gentle and loyal, and an honorable man).  But to survive what Glass did, you have be tough. We simply don't value masculinity in our culture.  Not one single sitcom, or movie (shaping our perspectives culturally)  in recent decades encourages men to be men.  

Next, The Revenant reveals how wicked and evil bullies are.  The antagonist, Fitzgerald, is a bully driven by greed and selfishness.  The group of trappers Fitzgerald is contracted with allow him to push Glass around before he's even injured, and once the group leaves Glass in Fitzgerald's care, things get even worse.  When any group tolerates a bully, the whole group will pay.  There is power in community, and people need to band together and reign in the bully in the group.   

And, The Revenant offers a good reminder of the bankruptcy of racism.   The avenue we see this played out through is the relationship between the Native Americans, and the corruptness of the French fur traders, and the way that Fitzgerald demonizes Glass's son who is biracial, half Anglo-Saxon, half Native Indian.  I don't think we can have enough reminders of the deficit caused by racists in our culture.  

So, the movies is bloody, violent, and raw, and yes you need to see it, it will do wonders for your character to see it.  Why?  The final point I'll make from The Revenant is the fact that revenge never will satisfy.  When Glass finally catches up with Fitzgerald who has killed his son and has left him for dead, right before Glass is about to kill Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald says something like, "You came all this way to get your revenge?  I hope you enjoy it, because it won't bring back your son."  I won't spoil the scene and tell you what happens next, but the movie does a great job of reminding us that revenge isn't the path to travel.  

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