Rating: 4/5 Stars (Four stars)
Star Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Duane Howard
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
What’s Good: Alejandro Innaritu’s The Revenant is a visual treat clubbed with what could be Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar winning performance.
What’s Bad: This film has its unsettling moments and hence not meant for the weak-hearted. Those looking for an emotional connect may get disappointed too.
Loo Break: I’d say this film is best served without an interval!
Watch or Not?: All those who have enjoyed Birdman (from the same director), this film goes a notch higher hence a must-watch. Also if you are a Leonardo DiCaprio fan, you are certainly not missing this.
In 1823, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his men including John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) are wandering into the wilderness of Northern plains in search of pelts (fur). After being ambushed by Arikara Native Americans with a surprise attack, Hugh and his men abandon the boat they sailed in and take on a foot journey into the forests.
After accidentally irking a grizzly bear, Hugh is attacked by him and suffers grave injuries. Taking advantage of the situation Fitzgerald tries to convince the rest of them to abandon Hugh who may not survive the attack. After facing opposition for the same, he secretly buries a half-dead Hugh and leaves with the rest of his men.
Still alive and now seeking revenge, the story further takes you into Hugh’s journey of survival against all odds.
The Revenant Review: Script Analysis
Not many know that Innaritu’s lead Hugh Glass is a character from the American folklore. His story of survival post a deadly bear attack and being abandoned by his men has been known for centuries. Picking up this basic plot and adding fictional elements such as the story of Glass’ deceased wife, his meet with Hikuc, the friendly pawnie, Alejandro weaves this masterpiece thread by thread. In 1971, an English film named Man In The Wilderness too touched upon the similar story, revolving around Glass’ survival in the mountains.
One may find similarities between the works of Quentin Tarantino’s previous works which also focus on civilizations that have been forgotten and narratives based on the conflicts of native Indians and European settlers. It is the same thing that James Cameron touched with Avatar, except that the film’s visual experience was the focus rather than its underlined message.
The build-up of this film is so extensive that you will find yourself sitting at the edge of the seat with a racing heart. Visually enchanting, the film’s detailing into native languages and dialects is equally brilliant.
The Revenant Review: Star Performance
Leonardo DiCaprio has shown us enough versatility in the past few years. Be it Shutter Island, Wolf Of Wall Street or Inception, he has managed to shine with each performance. This year, many are hoping that he finally wins an Oscar and well with The Revenant we truly believe he deserves one. If the film can be so unsettling for a viewer, I cannot imagine the kind of stress an actor may have gone under for such a role.
Second best in the film is obviously the reliable actor Tom Hardy. He fits into any given role perfectly and as Fitzgerald, he gives you ample of reasons to hate him. After his superb performance in Mad Max: Fury Road, Hardy makes sure he forms a promising supporting actor too.
Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck make up for a stellar supporting cast but it is Leo who takes the cake away.
The Revenant Review: Music, Direction
Emmanuel Lubezki is the star of this show. After his academy award winning cinematography for Gravity and Birdman, Lubezki once again takes us into another world. The way his camera captures the gushy rivers and the grave nature of the snow clad mountains, it is beyond imagination.
From the director, we truly learn what professionalism is. Shooting in -25 degrees of temperature to get his story right is commendable. Some of the greatest scenes in the film that will not leave your memory would be, Glass’ jump off the cliff with his horse when is being chased down. It literally stops your heart for that moment.
Another would be the one where he eats a bison lever. It just bares it all in one scene, what life and survival is all about. Also, crafted brilliantly are the frame where Glass is having delusions of his deceased wife and son. They are so powerful and raw, that there is a sense of insecurity that they bring.
All in all, Alejandro makes sure you don’t leave this film without being affected by it.
The Revenant Review: The Last Word
The Revenant isn’t the kind of film you will enjoy. It is the kind of film you will marvel for its execution. A 4/5 it is.
The Revenant Trailer
The Revenant releases on 26th February, 2016.
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