“I ain’t afraid to die anymore. I’d done it already.”
With all the hype surrounding The Revenant and the great reviews I had read, I went into the theater with very high expectations and I can truly say that this film more than met them.
The acting was flawless. Leonardo DiCaprio (Hugh Glass) and Tom Hardy (John Fitzgerald) truly shined, as well as Will Poulter (Bridger) and Forrest Goodluck (Hawk). DiCaprio’s portrayal of Glass was extremely believable. Moments with little to no dialogue (which were frequent) were barley noticeable; filled with DiCaprio’s facial expressions and his great and prominent presence.
The cinematography was gorgeous. There was an almost 3D depth to the shots and it wonderfully showcased the beautiful and barren frontier. Though some shots seemed unnecessary to the story, they were visually stunning and aesthetically pleasing. I wasn’t a fan of the wide, fishbowl-like camera sweep used in one or two scenes however. Overall, Emmanuel Lubezki did a phenomenal job. In my opinion, cinematography that truly stands out is not a commonplace. To really stick in my mind it has to be exceptional and Lubezki’s work in The Revenant was just that; exceptional.
The costumes and makeup were perfect. By perfect I mean they reflected the circumstances of harsh conditions in the 1820s wilderness. John’s hair, or absence therefore of, made any Hardy still visible through Fitzgerald’s character disappear. Glass’s wounds looked very realistic. Everyone had a thin layer of dirt and grime covering them, adding to the realism of the ‘mountain man’ story.
Alejandro Iñárritu’s directing was excellent and definitely deserving of the Golden Globe he received for best director.
The Revenant is a story of survival, revenge and vengeance but at its root, its a story of love and deep passion. It is a gripping, extremely entertaining and epic film. The bear attack scene is a modern marvel and the end fight scene between Glass and Fitzgerald will have you on the edge of your seat. While it can be an exhausting film to watch – with almost a two and a half hour run time and the non-stop physical and mental abuse Glass faces – it is definitely worth while.