“I ain’t afraid to die any more. I’d done it already.”
Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, who won the Academy’s prestigious awards last year with Birdman for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. His latest cinematic creation, The Revenant, is a compelling wintry western, set in the 1980’s. Explorer, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), survives an inexplicable bear attack. He is then abandoned by two of his men, buried alive. John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) is the villain accountable for this inhumane decision.
To say that DiCaprio gives a great performance is an understatement. He is Hugh Glass. Not once would you think to yourself that you’re watching Leo give a performance, delivering on one of the most physically demanding roles of recent memory. Tom Hardy gives an equally exceptional performance, expressing his character’s evil nature in every single move that he makes and word he says. The supporting cast do what they need to and they do it well, but their scenes are often stolen by Leo and Hardy’s powerful performances. The dark shades, exquisite winter landscapes and eerie atmosphere absorbs the viewer’s attention immediately. Each shot is executed to perfection. Hard to pin down to one genre, The Revenant holds conventions of a thriller/western, of which ends in revenge-drama form. Stripping away all the illusions, you, as a viewer, are faced with the cold hard realities. The violence is, to put it bluntly; brutal. So for those of you who are not keen on excessive gore or graphic death after death, perhaps think long and hard before viewing.
With beyond commendable cinematography, and an intense score by Ryuichi Sakamoto, The Revenant will take you through a cinematic adventure that you have never experienced before. DiCaprio’s ongoing hunt for the Oscar comes to an end with an outstanding performance. If sleeping in a dead horse naked doesn’t land him an Oscar, then nothing will. You don’t just watch The Revenant, you endure and survive it.