Watching The Revenant feels like watching a David Attenborough documentary, in that nature is key and the brutality of nature is what literally robes Hugh Glass or Leonardo DiCaprio. This is a difficult film to watch, while simultaneously providing some of the most stunning visuals ever caught on camera, and is a story of revenge with Leonardo DiCaprio (Hugh Glass) and Tom Hard (John Fitzgerald) as the versus parties.
It seems that Leo can’t do a film these days without the word ‘Oscar’ being mentioned, not only because he is such a talented actor, but because after ‘X’ amount of nominations, you might be inclined to say, “this has got to be the one.” If I am to comment I would say that there is a lot of intense competition this year as far as Oscar races go. Leo’s performance is like no other, and you do feel pain, you do feel the sense of agony that Hugh Glass is going through. This performance is probably his best since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, plus he manages to archives this greatness with minimal lines, relying heavily of facial expressions and exclaims of anguish. A nomination in the Best Actor Oscar category, for sure, but a win is going to be a close call.
Tom Hardy steals the show here, although he has considerably less screen time than Leo, and you may not understand what John Fitzgerald is saying half of the time in this film, and perhaps a second viewing with subtitles is necessary, his performance is solid. Tom Hardy has had a fantastic year with Mad Max: Fury Road, Legend and now his portrayal of an insane man in The Revenant has truly garnished him with a more than impressive filmography. Super keen to see where he goes next.
My major gripe with The Revenant is the simplicity of the tale, versus the extensive run time. This film is close to three hours long, which is ok, when every frame is as stunning as the last, but ultimately we are at the cinema to be told a story, and eventually the “gimmick” of natural light filming and stunning locations does take it’s toll. Plus there is only so much setback you can see a man take, before it becomes well, not believable. Alejandro is a visionary filmmaker, there is no doubt about that, he has demonstrated that he thinks outside the box, but it seems here that the focus on making an entertaining film was lost to making a Samsara-esque visual treat.
Enough negatives, because this is an amazing film, that does challenge you, more physically than emotionally. So, back to something positive, and all I ned to say is, The Bear Attack. Wow. First I would like to forget that it was CGI, because the entire bear is CGI, but the scene is played out remarkably well, and it is a major innovative step in cinema. The Bear Attack scene deserves an Oscar on it’s own, there is something very intimate and very scary about it, it’s painfully beautiful.
The Revenant is like no film I’ve seen. It is something that needs to be experienced on the big screen, but be warned, it’s not for everyone. I honestly heard sighs of relief, around me, when the credits started to roll. It’s a brilliant start to 2016 and I am sure that The Revenant will indeed make it to all the must see movies lists that will inevitably start to circulate as the year starts to close. But that’s a way way off, in the meantime keep FilmMunching!
Congratulations to the FilmMakers of The Revenant and Leo for their triple win at the 2016 Golden Globes.
TRIVIA COOKIE: Leonardo DiCaprio is vegetarian, but so in character was he that in one scene he devours a raw slab of bison liver. Now, that is dedication!