The Revenant

The Revenant

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The Revenant is brutal. It is not a fun movie to watch, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy watching it. I could almost feel all the pain that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Hugh Glass, was experiencing in the American wilderness–from the horrendous bear attack to the bitter cold temperatures. Most of that came from the combination of DiCaprio making me believe his character’s pain and anguish and Alejandro G. Inarritu’s direction with long takes and natural scenery.

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I have not been the biggest fan of Inarritu’s films in the past. I felt confusion while watching 21 Grams and did not connect with the characters in Babel. I felt Birdman was fun to watch from the standpoint that it was made to look like one long camera take, but the story itself did not draw me in. I was going to avoid this movie because it was made by him, but I am glad I changed my mind. Here, the long camera takes were used to good effect. They were not done to be clever, but it drew the viewer into the pain and struggle of the characters.  As I have mentioned in other reviews, I love movies that do not rely on CGI so I loved that the actors had to deal with the freezing weather. I left the movie feeling very cold.

Let’s not forget Tom Hardy. He plays John Fitzgerald, the guy that hates Glass even before the group is saddled with dragging his bear attack-damaged body along. He leaves him for dead as soon as he has a chance. He is a bastard that you hate, but he is also so interesting to watch, and not only because his character has been partially scalped in the past.

I think the only thing that dragged the movie down was the many flashbacks Glass had to his wife (or maybe just the mother of his child?). It is pretty obvious from the first flashback what happened to her and why he is traipsing the wilderness with his son. She pops up so many places, in case we ever forget thinking about her. At one point, I felt like she was a literal ghost and I was watching a much spookier movie. It became distracting and unnecessary.

This movie is best seen on the big screen. It would have been fabulous if this movie was shot on 70mm. More movies should be shot that way.

Grade: B+

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