It has been a pretty stellar year for movies so far but I don’t know if anything has impressed me or stayed with me as much as Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant. There have been many true stories, survival stories and such over the years but I can’t think of any as beautiful and enthralling as this one.
Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, real life frontiersman in 1823 who found himself attacked by a bear while on a hunting expedition and left for dead by fellow hunter John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and the rest of their party. After his betrayal by Fitzgerald Glass finds himself hanging on to life but summons the will to pull himself out of his makeshift grave and struggle to find his way home for vengeance while facing the many obstacles in his way.
The Revenant is the true definition of a captivating film experience and had me holding my breath for every minute of the runtime. I have had a hit and miss relationship with Iñárritu’s other films but I have always admired his visual inventiveness. That talent is on full display in The Revenant with such breathtaking imagery I could not even begin to describe it in words here. The cast are all at career peaks including the Oscar Winning performance by DiCaprio, the understated but equally brilliant turn by Hardy, the submissive but very subtle work of Will Poulter, Domnhall Gleeson and the impressive debut of Forrest Goodluck. But it is the work of Iñárritu and Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki that is the center of attention. The movie almost feels like the filmic equivalent of a flowing river, it just carries you along for two and a half hours and sometimes you drift and sometimes you are thrown through dangerous rapids. And no doubt if you have heard about this film you have heard about the bear attack scene. I would be hard pressed to find a scene in film history that was as vicious, visceral, realistic, and terrifying as this one. An unforgettable scene in an unforgettable film. It is a very powerful story of survival, will and vengeance that you won’t soon forget.
Along with this beautiful Blu-ray presentation of the film, you also get a near feature length documentary on the making of the film that is in depth, fascinating and entertaining. The Revenant will be a hard film to beat this year, or any year coming up for that matter. A new classic bound to get even better with age. Very highly recommended.