By Armando Inquig
Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the best director for last year’s best picture ‘Birdman’, ‘The Revenant’ completely caught me by surprise. There’s a lot more to the film than what the promotional materials have shown us. Not only did it deliver the epic and thought-provoking movie promised by the trailer, but it also captivated me throughout its 156-minute running time with intriguing storytelling, a visceral atmosphere, solid performances, thrilling battle scenes, and one intense, brutal sequence of tour de force filmmaking involving a grizzly bear.
Set in 1823 Montana and inspired by true events, the movie follows the extraordinary experiences and adventures of fur trapper Hugh Glass during an expedition in the American wilderness. After he was brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by his own hunting team, Glass miraculously survived and crawled hundreds of miles through the storms of South Dakota to exact revenge against the man who killed his son.
Along the way, he was chased by a hostile American tribe whose chief was looking for his kidnapped daughter. He ate raw bison and roots, traveled through a blizzard, jumped off a cliff, and, in one truly memorable scene, slept inside the torso of a dead horse.
Will he survive the incredible ordeal and exact revenge against the man who killed his son?
‘The Revenant’ tells a classic tale of revenge, survival, and the power of the human spirit. It also serves as a stirring tribute to both the beauty and harshness of Mother Nature. Technically, it showcases an impressive blend of practical effects, CGI, dynamic camera work, and immersive cinematography. Emmanuel Lubezki, who also collaborated with Iñárritu on ‘Birdman’, is responsible for the latter. For film buffs, certain elements might evoke memories of films by Malick and Gibson, such as ‘The New World’ and ‘Apocalypto’.
As for DiCaprio, he left no stone unturned in his performance. He truly gave his all and deserves all the accolades he has received, and will surely continue to receive, for his masterful work.
‘The Revenant’ also stars Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Forrest Goodluck, Will Poulter, and Lukas Haas. It is rated R for strong violence, language, and brief nudity, and has a runtime of 156 minutes.