My viewing experience of 'The Revenant' was unforgettable and one which I would not wish on anyone. I tried not to be too specific, but if you want no *SPOILERS* you probably shouldn't read this.
  1. Let me start by saying that 'The Revenant' is a masterful film.
    Seriously, it's amazing.
  2. Let me next say that I am fully aware that Leo DiCaprio is a highly beloved actor.
  3. With that acknowledgement, I will next announce this: I love Leo DiCaprio more than most people.
  4. Not all people, mind. But most.
  5. (My history with Leo could actually be a list of its own. And probably should be if anyone would actually read it.)
  6. Tonight I saw 'The Revenant' with my friend Tori. Much like 'The Revenant,' this story has three acts.
  7. ACT I
  8. We enter the theater; it is packed full of people, but because God understands my deep admiration of Leo--and Tori's of Tom Hardy--there are two perfect seats empty, far enough back to see the whole screen but close enough to feel like you're in the movie.
  9. As I sit watching the screen and waiting, I think of all the theater shootings of late. I look at the packed theater, and realize this would be a prime target for an angry gunman.
  10. The story begins. The very first thing I notice is the cinematography. It is *stunning.*
  11. After about 15 minutes I decide the word 'revenant' means "to torture a person with all the basic fears of man."
    Aka Leo is getting the snot knocked out of him. And as soon as he halfway recovers another one hits.
  12. Leo gets mauled by a vicious wild animal.
    I don't think my first reaction to a bear will ever be "How cute!" again.
  13. The horrors are genuinely beyond counting on mere recollection, but they include:
  14. The previews roll. Anticipation in the theater is palpable.
    Or maybe that's just ours.
  15. Leo is buried alive.
  16. Tom proves his mettle as a truly despicable savage.
    Corrupt men do bad things.
  17. So many people die.
    In ways I never could have imagined. I saw wounds I've never even realized existed before. Flesh isn't tough at all.
  18. People are shot, stabbed, scalped, and more.
    I am struck by how fragile and supple the human body is, even the bodies of these burly fur trappers.
  19. People die.
    Not unexpected, but worrisome nonetheless.
  20. All of a sudden, I hear the sounds of theater seats closing up.
  21. "Tony! TONY!"
  22. ACT II
  23. People are jumping out of their seats and instructing loudly "Call 911! SOMEBODY call 911!"
  24. A strange dread fills me as I look at Tori.
  25. Tom does something even worse than the things he's already done, and worse still, no one is able to stop him.
    Helpless frustration is literally the worst feeling in earth to me; it's exactly like being transformed back into an infant, when you know what you want but you can do nothing about it. Not even roll over. Hellish.
  26. Three seats down and one row up, there is a middle-aged man sagging backwards in his chair, mostly still except for slight convulsions.
  27. His wife is telling those asking her if he's a diabetic that he IS a diabetic and he's having a seizure.
  28. His wife suddenly grabs him and tosses him back into his chair, then jams her hand into his mouth.
  29. The theater lights come on. We can all now see with perfect clarity exactly what is happening.
  30. Theater workers arrive, trying to help the wife in any way they can.
  31. He's not breathing. They lean him forward and lay him over a chair, trying to use the Heimlich to clear his airways.
  32. A nurse rushes down from the back of the theater and runs up our aisle, past us, then climbs over the seats.
  33. Tony is still not breathing, and it's clear the wife is panicking now.
  34. The theater, which had been bustling and rubber-necking to get a good look at what is happening, falls silent.
  35. Deadly silent.
  36. I am afraid we are all about to watch a man suffocate.
  37. I feel like this fantastic movie we've been watching just burst forth from the screen.
    Really the two aren't alike at all, aside from the fact that are both horrific.
  38. Tony hasn't been breathing for what feels like ages, but was actually probably only like 3 minutes.
    Three. Terrifying. Minutes.
  39. I swear I can feel the entire theater breathe again. There is actual air movement as a theater full of people all exhale together.
  40. Tony's wife and the theater employees help him down the stairs and out into the hall, presumably towards the ambulance.
  41. Finally, his wife triumphs in dislodging his tongue from his windpipe.
  42. And then we all look at each other. Now what? We have all been witness together as a man approached death.
  43. There is mumbling, the lights go off again, and we try to forget what just happened and trimmers ourselves in the tale of tortures.
  44. ACT III
  45. Leo is with one of the dead bodies. There are so many.
  46. I start noticing new things.
  47. The makeup in this movie is unbelievable.
  48. When I first fell in love with Leo, it all started with his mouth. The way he uses his mouth when he speaks is the definition of alluring to me.
    *Enunciation King of the World*
  49. This means I'm intensely familiar with his mouth. And it is UNrecognizable in this movie.
  50. I'm not going to say anything else about the story, other than to say this:
  51. For such a talked-about movie, one for which I had such high expectations, one which apparently had all kinds of trouble during shooting, it did not disappoint AT ALL.
  52. In fact, it was even better than my year+ long anticipation had built it up to be.
  53. Which is saying something, because I have expectations for Leo higher than for any other actor.
  54. Because LEO IS THE REAL DEAL.
  55. This movie is going to be one that stays with you.
  56. Watching it feels like some kind of physical struggle, and once you come out the other side you just sit in quiet and need to process.
  57. That is one of my three favorite kinds of movies.
  58. (The other two are movies that have moments with swelling music that makes you cry, and movies with Leonardo DiCaprio.)
    Leo IS a genre of his own, and do you know why? BECAUSE HE IS VERSATILE AND PHENOMENAL.
  59. I apologize for how scattered this list has been. I think I'm a little more shaken up by that man's near death than I'd like to realize.
  60. EPILOGUE: As the shattered audience exits the theater, knees shaking from such an emotional overhaul--maybe that was just me--a manager hands everyone passes good for one movie ticket. I thank him, although I feel a little like I am taking blood money: "Some old man had a seizure so I got a free movie ticket!" I feel awful.
    Instead of dwelling on the image of Tony's wife's manicured hand plunging into his mouth, I try to picture Leo winning the Oscar for his journey through hell-on-earth. I say a prayer of thanks that tori was with me for that insane moment, and a huge thank you for Tony's survival. I have a head ache. I blink several times in an effort to clear it, which of course doesn't work. My brain still won't stop picturing her hand going down his throat. Tori and I discuss whether we'd be able to do that.
  61. This story has no moral. I just needed to get it out of my head so I could try to sleep.
    If you read as far as this insane distance, I thank you for your time. 😚😚😚😚