Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s blood-spattered, ruthless, vicious revenge drama The Revenant presents enchanting, flabbergasting visuals along with of the struggles of a man, whose mind wants survival but the heart desires revenge. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of Hugh Glass with grunts, shouts, pain, and anger in his face and revenge in his eyes. Glass, a trapper, is left for dead by two fellow trappers, who were appointed by their leader to look after him when he was mauled by a grizzly bear. Death nigh on him, he witnesses his son’s murder. Time starts going backwards from that moment on; he recovers and goes in a journey of primal revenge against the backdrop of the snowy mountains.
DiCaprio does not play the part of Glass; he is Glass. His face displays all the emotions, their mix to be accurate. Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald also does brilliantly. Domhnall Gleeson as Captain Andrew is hard to miss. But DiCaprio steals the show; no, he didn’t actually, it was his all along, the story demanded and he nailed it. Though he did not have many dialogues to express, he expressed the character by his dragging his through the ice, eating raw bison, grunting.
Emmanuel Lubezki proved his ability again by the stunning images throughout the film. The beauty of the sky and the landscape is displayed as if they are characters with changing colours as different emotions. The way his Arri Alexa captures the shots of the Glass and the backdrop is simply amazing. He along with the director wanted to shoot in natural light only and did so which prolonged the filming. One of the principle reasons for the film being good and DiCaprio’s performance being praised is Lubezki. His use of close-ups to portray Glass’ feelings, lighting of the scenes, the long takes to build a realistic tension is worth praise. The way the screen gets moistened by the laboriously painstaking breaths of Glass makes the viewer feel him.
Now to the best and worst of the lot; Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, one of the best modern directors. Best to all who have seen his work, his presentation, his storytelling, his artistry, he has proved his excellence. Worst to the crew, as he made them shoot in the freezing cold for months. He uses the music well like most of his previous works. He uses the location, the harsh nature as a character to make the survival of Glass realistic. He insisted to shoot the film chronologically, a very unusual choice (maybe amateurish or madness to many), but it helped every one of the cast and crew understand the journey and thus extracting the best from them. He makes the film look life an epic struggle for survival and revenge, in which he succeeds. His brilliance lies in the fact that he takes a story of gory revenge and makes it so much more than what it is, a tale of lost love, pain and ultimate peace.
Film Score: 80
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu Screenplay: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Mark L. Smith Story: Michael Punke Cinematography: Emanuel Lubezki Editing: Stephen Mirrione Production Design: Jack Fisk Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Carsten Nicolai Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter