“The Revenant” is one of those movies I would have loved to have discussed in class. Whether it’s a Social Studies class discussing ethnic groups or history class looking into unchartered 19th Century American frontier. It could even be a topic in a film class, to discuss the work of such masters of storytelling as Director Alejandro G. Iñarritu or Emmanuel Lubezki’s work on the beautiful cinematography in the film.
The Revenant is a masterpiece worth discussing in class and I always hold movies like these in high regard. I guess the movie has so many merits and layers that I just want to be in a class just talking about it. *Looking for a Revenant Discussion group. Currently suffering from Post-Revenant Syndrome*-it’s a thing, I’m making it a thing.
There has been few films that have been set in this time period, when America was very young, when the Native Americans still roamed the lands and when the pale faced colonizers came to pillage the land of it’s resources. This makes the film a unique gem that you simply can’t compare with any other period movie.
The genius that is Alejandro G. Iñarritu brings you in the movie. Even if it’s not a 3D movie, it is shot in such a way that you feel as though you are there yourself. During filming, Iñarritu was adamant that they were not going to use computer graphics to enchance the film and they also only used natural lighting in the film and all of these really transpire through the screen. The film captures nature at it’s finest. The unconventional camera angles that were used will have you looking at scenes in a different way. The camera brings you to wide sweeping landscapes, up close a dying man’s breath, under the savage power of a grizzly bear, through ice cold waters. It is a movie experience, you shouldn’t miss.
The story in itself is a simple one; it is a story of survival and revenge. We’ve seen this played out in many other takes, movies and TV shows but what makes ‘The Revenant’ stand out is it’s exquisite and masterful telling, bringing you, the viewer in the scene.
Let’s talk about that R-16 rating, it’s there for a reason and I suggest that we follow it. The film captures the brutal violence between the Native Americans and the fur trappers who have come to their land. I was gasping, shouting and covering my eyes. It’s really brutal but necessary for the story. This was a time when the laws of the land translated to a riffle on hand or a noose around the neck.
Aside from the movie’s beautiful cinematography and gripping storytelling, the film is as strong as it is (you must have heard of all the awards it has won, including Oscar nominations) because of it’s actors commitment to their roles. I knew that Leonardo DiCaprio was amazing in the film but seeing him in this role was a humbling experience. DiCaprio’s performance is a force to be reckoned with.
DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a fur-trapper who survives a bear attack only to be betrayed and left for dead by his companions. By sheer, strength of will Glass is able to survive the harsh elements, fueled by the need for revenge. The person he wants to get his hands on? The lying, cheating and evil John Fitzgerald, he’s such a good bad guy- you’d hate him! Another strong performance from Tom Hardy! A necessary requirement to stand alongside DiCaprio’s Glass.
9.5 out of 10 (it’s a tad bit long at 156 minutes but still necessary)
Not for the faint of heart, ‘The Revenant’ is painfully beautiful (in more ways than one) and takes an American frontier legend and turns it into a journey of survival so vividly raw, you will surely see it in your dreams.
The REVENANT will preview as last full show features on Feb. 2 (hours ahead if it’s opening day on Feb. 3) and will also be in IMAX screens) from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.