I know that countless reviews have already been written about this movie (especially by people with a lot more knowledge on the subject than me), but I figured why not add my two cents anyway. I finally managed to find some time to watch it last week and it left me feeling speechless and in awe.
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Lead actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson
Score: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
Watching this movie is truly an experience. From the very first second, it does not feel like you are sitting down behind a screen watching a movie. It genuinely engulfs you into the story and you constantly feel as if you are in the middle of all the action. This is mainly thanks to the clever, fluid and at times enchanting camera work, which I feel like is quickly becoming Iñárritu’s trademark. A perfect example of this is a spectacular, lengthy action shot at the start of the movie, where the camera follows an intricately webbed path between the numerous characters, fighting to survive a bloody attack. The breathtaking locations, the use of natural lighting and the stunning cinematography only add to the authenticity of it all.
The plot of the movie is fairly straightforward. A group of hunters are ambushed by a group of Native Americans. The survivors are forced to leave their camp and are left in the hands of Mother Nature. They are led by Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), who knows the area and the natives best, yet every decision he makes seems to annoy fellow hunter John Fitzgerald (Hardy). Then Glass gets mortally wounded by a grizzly bear, which leads to the group splitting up as some of the hunters, Fitzgerald included, stay behind to wait for Glass to die so that they can give him a proper burial. Quite a bit of drama and action ensue and in the end, Glass is forced to face the wilderness alone, weak and injured. What follows is a mindblowing journey through nature, facing countless obstacles and dangers.
I do think that, had this movie not been made as well as it was, this plot could have easily become a bit boring or monotonuous. That is not at all the case here though. To say it with a cliché: I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I audibly gasped quite a few times.
Directing wise, I am in no way an expert when it comes to the work of Iñárritu. I saw his previous movie, Birdman, and apart from the strange ending I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel like he truly delivers original, high quality work and I am already looking forward to his future projects.
Then of course there is the cast. The acting in this movie is out of this world! Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio have of course already proven themselves numerous times before, but for both of them this is likely to be their best work to date. They are absolutely spectacular and if DiCaprio does not win the Oscar this year then there is something truly wrong with this world. I also really enjoyed Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson’s performances and I think this movie has really put them on the map now.
All in all, The Revenant is quite the masterpiece. It’s not the kind of movie that I would watch over and over again, but I did really enjoy it and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. I would not be surprised in the slightest if it goes on to be the big winner at this year’s Academy Awards because it would be very well deserved!
Thank you for reading and if you agree or have a completely different opinion on the movie, let me know in the comments!