The Revenant Review
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu.
By one definition, a revenant is someone who returns after death, a ghost.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu directs this bleak and freezing thriller of a fur expedition gone wrong. Filmed mostly in cold Canada for realism, Iñárritu opposed to green screening so the actors portrayal be influenced by the harsh environment. Conditions got so extreme filming had to be halted due to camera equipment freezing.
Set in 1823, based on the true story of a one Hugh Grant being who left for dead after a ferocious bear attack, however this is an embellished version, adding fictional key elements and characters, creating a different motive and changing the outcome entirely. However this shouldn't make the story any less appealing because of this. It's also not the first film based on this story, 1971's Man in the Wilderness and doubtful this was any inspiration.
We begin with the expedition, introducing the party's main characters of Glass, his son, (Forrest Goodluck's screen debut) the hardened trapper John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and their Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). All of them giving good strong performances, especially Hardy who does so well emitting his character over himself.
Disaster strikes in the form of fatal arrowheads, forcing the expedition to tackle more challenging terrain. Glass being the knowledgable scout, he goes alone leading the party ahead until he meets horrifying, near-fatal bear attack. Looking back, and having watched this a couple of times now, it is graphic but far from being disturbing. And yes, we can all joke about the bear getting the Oscar instead.
Things go from bad to worse, suffering more than just the bear attack, we witness him healing whilst growing into a wraith of pure rage, he becomes one with the land, and a monster is born navigating his way across the landscape which almost seems to pity him, in search of his revenge.
The scenery is incredible, having such stunning depth. The locations are very much apart of the film having a presence of Mother Nature there herself, being a beautiful contradiction of how breathtaking yet life-threatening she can be. Iñárritu has captured the harshness and bitter coldness so perfectly well you actually feel cold watching this, so I suggest wrapping up warm. Iñárritu filmed in natural light for a large majority of the film so to enhance the realism of the film, giving it that bleak, gloomy atmosphere.
Even though Leonardo DiCaprio states this being his most demanding role yet, It's not the performance DiCaprio deserves an Oscar for, not saying he doesn't deserve one, not by any means, but I believe his performance in The Departed and The Wolf Of Wall Street to be stronger. His academy award was a pity win in my opinion.
It's long with a running time of 156 minutes, but it doesn't drag, being purposefully paced to take in everything and giving pause to digest and increase tension until the summit of the film.
It's a gorgeous yet desolate film, a vengeful adventure against all odds and the elements. Another amazing film from Iñárritu.
Running Time: 8
The Cast: 9
Job Description: 8
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for the incredible scenery, not for the Oscars.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.