The Revenant is an exceptional film, based on the story of real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass. Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu brings this incredible tale to life in a manner both vivid and incredibly dark. Visually, the audience is brought into various scenes with the help of immersive camera angles that make it impossible to not feel involved. This man vs. nature drama has elements of surprise, gore, and pure awe, and while it isn’t perfect, The Revenant will definitely have the Oscars knocking at its door.
When trailers for The Revenant first began to grace our big screens last summer, many applauded for leading man Leonardo DiCaprio, as the talented actor seemingly fell into the role of a lifetime that may finally win him that all-elusive Academy Award his fans have been dying to see him accept. Will The Revenant do it? There’s a great chance, as DiCaprio turns in the performance of a lifetime. He stretches beyond his genius delivery of script and shines as a truly physical actor who went above and beyond for the role. His co-star and protagonist, Tom Hardy, stuns while brilliantly portraying fellow frontiersman John Fitzgerald, who eventually abandons an injured Glass while recovering from a bear mauling. Yes, a bear mauling.
Glass spends the rest of the film fighting his way back home, with not only the physical challenges of being left for dead in the middle of nowhere, but mentally dealing with the effects of losing family and trust in your own men. At times, Leo’s eyes are all that’s needed to get the message across, and he does it very, very well.
Coming in at 2 hours and 36 minutes, the film could have benefitted from another round of editing, as many shots, while beautiful, neither enhanced the plot nor were unique enough to keep for art’s sake. There are also many times where style seemed to override substance, as some of the more violent scenes felt forced, included simply for show. Still, there is an overall balance between art and commercial appeal here, a fine line to master. The Revenant does this beautifully.
Jessica is a freelance journalist originally from Compton, CA, now based in NYC. As former Executive Editor of ‘Rhymes & Dimes Magazine,’ she has interviewed artists such as August Alsina, Ty Dolla $ign, Sevyn Streeter, YG, Raekwon, the late Chinx and more. She is now a contributing writer for Elite Daily, SoulTrain.com, and other publications.