Alejandro G. Innaritu / Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy / Thriller / 2016 / 15 / 156mins
A thought occurred to me as I sat for my post-cinema pint: maybe it’s a blessing DiCaprio has never won an Oscar?
Think about it, the man’s desire for one of those glistening, golden statuettes borderlines the psychotic. We wouldn’t have the quaalude-tripping sex addict that is Jordan Belfort, the sinister racist Calvin Candie or this:
He’s mastered comedy (The Wolf of Wall Street) he’s mastered drama (Revolution Road) villains (Django: Unchained) heroes (Inception) detectives (The Departed) Shakespeare (Romeo + Juliet) fictional icons (The Great Gatsby) and real ones (The Aviator).
After his last major loss to Matthew McConaughey in 2014, the internet duly flipped the fuck out. Although it’s fair to say McConaughey deserved to win (and he did), it’s also clear DiCaprio has a lot of eager fans awaiting the day he too wins, and when that day comes the parades will hit the streets and we shall rejoice. Well, good news everyone: DiCaprio’s gonna win because he’s fucking mental and did everything he could this time round, and I mean everything – director Innaritu, freely admitting to being a maniac himself, was impressed by Leo outweirding him.
In summary, The Revenant is a survival epic based on the true story of Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) and how he was mauled by a bear in frontier America in the 1820s and left for dead. It’s rammed full of action and gore (probably should have been an 18 rating if I’m honest), insane detail and legitimacy, and makes for the best period-thriller I have ever seen. The incredible acting from DiCaprio, Tom Hardy (as John Fitzgerald) and Will Poulter (as Jim Bridger) is paltry in comparison to the film as a film.
With a shoot of The Revenant’s stature it was guaranteed to go down in history. Innaritu – being the crazy bastard he is – insisted on only using natural light, meaning a very limited time to film on location in the Canadian mountains. The scenery and the cinematography are beautiful – pure art. The little things, like the hyperrealistic makeup, the CGI, the inclusion of authentic Native American languages, the editing for the dream sequences, even the sound editing; the collective package is just mesmerising. Lengthy singleshot sequences are utilised, giving you the impression that you’re there in the wilderness amongst the men, battling the elements.
It’s a fantastic immersive experience that you will never forget; a cinematic voyage of Darwinian symbolism, man versus nature an’ all that. One great act of catharsis that is undoubtedly an instant masterpiece to add to Innaritu’s oeuvre, a magnum opus to stand alongside Birdman (which was only last year!!) – bow, peasants, before the God of Cinema.
A tour-de-force of cinema – UNMISSABLE.
Film as a Film – 5 / Target Audience – 5 / General Audience – 4
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“The Revenant 2015 film poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.