The Revenant Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
When the hostile Native American tribe of Arikara Indians is attacking a military hunting party of fur trappers, one heavily injured man is left for dead and needs to beat the odds to make it back to camp alive.
Genre: Drama / Thriller / Western
Director: Alejandro G. Iñaratu
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson & Forrest Goodluck.
Run Time: 156 min.
US Release: 08 January 2016
UK Release: 15 January 2016
German Release: 07 January 2016
Hello and welcome back, today I am going to review The Revenant, the first film from my most anticipated list of 2016 and it contains one of the greatest pieces of camera work my eyes have seen up-to-date. Alejandro Iñaratu, director of 2014s Birdman, also instructed this movie and although not as good as his previous film, The Revenant is still a visual spectacle.
The plot was inspired by the true story of Hugh Glass, a fur trapper from the 1820s. When the hostile Native tribe of Arikara Indians attacks his hunting party, consisting of military men, they need to leave their goods behind to save their skins. Being still pursued by the Indians, commander Captain Andrew Henry (Gleeson) puts Glass (DiCaprio) and his son Hawk (Goodluck) in charge of finding a safe passage back to their camp.
Party member John Fitzgerald (Hardy) does not trust Glass’ methods, especially since his son is half Native American and strongly believes that they are all savages. When Glass gets injured and is on the verge of dying, Fitzgerald sees an opportunity and leaves him behind to save himself. Glass though manages to hang on to life.
I’ll get through the negative points first, to get them off my back. At times the film felt a little too stretched out and too long. I noticed this when I caught myself for the first time, thinking that I would like to see Glass finally get to take his revenge on Fitzgerald and it did cross my mind a second time.
The dream sequences had something to do with the time issue, and they are my second complaint. While they were quite intriguing during the beginning of the story, they started looking overly exaggerated and took up too much time by the fourth time Glass was experiencing them. They started annoying me and I just wanted them to fly by as fast as possible to get back to the main story. Apart from those two issues, The Revenant was a revelation of a movie!
This western drama is one of the best films I have seen, with a fantastic story that pits the main character against Mother Nature. Glass goes through his hardest time in life, consistently getting clawed, beaten, stabbed and frozen by the wilderness of Louisiana. The dialogue is kept at a minimum and about half of it is in a different language, but it doesn’t hurt the movie one bit as it is very well acted and depicted.
But it is not just the aspect of man versus nature that makes this stunning-looking piece of motion art so special. At its core, The Revenant is a movie about revenge, and my god does it pay off when DiCaprio finally confronts Hardy about his wrongdoings! This is a brutal, sadistic and bloody piece of art that was fantastically captured on film, with sequences that got under my skin as I stared in awe at what was being displayed in front of my eyes.
Leonardo DiCaprio keeps surprising me as an actor. Just when you thought he reached his peak, he goes on by pushing himself a few steps further. His portrayal of Glass is riveting, even though he has little to nothing to say. Half of his dialogue scenes are in a different language and it was his body language that did most of the talking.
The scene displayed in the trailer featuring a bear is one of the most spectacular moments in the whole movie. The pain and agony that he displays through his face, got me looking away every now and then as I felt his suffering.
Tom Hardy made for another fantastic performance in this western drama. He is a vile and disgusting person and makes for a great antagonist. Fitzgerald isn’t an evil human being though; he simply is a selfish coward who tries to reach his goals by lying and deceiving. There are moments Tom Hardy is hard to understand, but he gave nevertheless one of the most iconic portrayals in his career.
The strongest plus of this film though must be the cinematography! Iñaratu makes use of beautiful panoramic shots and amazing close-ups, using only natural light and the resources of the wilderness as a setting. It is one of the most unique cinematographic styles I have seen in a movie to date, which saw many crew members quitting because they thought the movie was impossible to shoot.
The music in The Revenant is iconic and exotic. It was composed by Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto in collaboration with German electronic musician Alva Noto and The Nationals guitarist Bryce Dessner.
Verdict: The Revenant is a grand film, visually and story-wise, with grand performances by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, as well as Domhnall Gleeson as a fantastic supporting character. The cinematography was superb and although a little bit too long, it is a film I do recommend to go see in theatres! I will give The Revenant a 9.0 out of 10 because, apart from those dream sequences, it did everything right.
So, what was your opinion of Iñaratu’s newest movie? Did you see it yet? Leave a comment below with your response and if you liked this review don’t forget to share it. As always thank you very much for reading, I really do appreciate it.