On Saturday morning I reviewed "The Glorious Heresies", a novel by Lisa McInerney, on Amazon. Saturday night I went to see "The Revenant". Both struck me as having the same structure. Violence and boredom, tension and boredom. After 50 pages of "The Glorious Heresies" I got the feeling that the rest of the book would be the same. Portraits of the violence and desperation of the poor in Cork, Ireland. Page after page would be the same.
I stopped reading because of the tedium of it.
After the first 30 minutes of "The Revenant" I began to think that the rest of the film would be more of the same. I was right. Violence, tension, boredom, wishing the film would end. As I sat there I wondered if it was so hard to make an artwork of some kind which is not so... so... violent. It seems to me that it mocks the real stuff happening to real people.
Another thing the book and the film had in common was that they were both very well made. No denying that.
So is it possible to make something engaging and interesting without having to use the cheap easy thrills of blood-splatter and sadistic lust?
(And don't go on about how hard it was to make the film, no doubt DiCaprio was well paid for the effort. And by the way, every time I saw DiCaprio I thought "Oh, look, DiCaprio." That is not his fault. I have no idea if he is a good actor or not. But once an actor is famous I always see the actor before I see the part he is playing. One of my many limits.)