RELEASED 2015 RUNTIME 156 MIN LANGUAGE ENGLISH DIRECTION ALEJANDRO G. INARRITU SCREENPLAY MARK L. SMITH STARRING LEONARDO DiCAPRIO, TOM HARDY, DOMHNALL GLEESON, WILL POULTER MUSIC RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, ALVA NOTO, BRYCE DESSNER
I have quite a bit to say about this movie so hang with me.
The Revenant is a revenge tail in the 1800′ in frontier Canada. That’s all you need to know. That’s how simple the story is.
Ok, let’s get to the meat of this movie. I call it right now: After Gravity and Birdman Emmanuel Lubetzki will win his 3rd Oscar in a row for best cinematography. That’s a given and I will eat my shoe if he doesn’t.
This movie is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Where I thought Sicario was the most nice to look at this year, The Revenant just topped it by a mile.
So, apparently this movie was completely shot in natural light, which is insane when you think about it. Have you ever tried to make a photo in natural light without screwing it up? Well, try to shoot an entire movie, where you have the camera moving all around through dirt, snow and water with takes that last minutes!
Also, this movie was shot during winter up north in Canada, which means, in order to shoot daytime scenes, you only have a time window of a few hours. So imagine you shoot a battle scene with a take that last 5 minutes, no kidding, and somebody screws up his performance. Well, you can basically go home and try again the next day. This movie must have been a nightmare to shoot, and from what I have researched after the screening, it certainly was.
Therefore, I have to give the biggest compliment to The director, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, for having such a vision AGAIN (after Birdman) and sticking to his guns. We need more of visionary directors such as him. He seems to push cinema with every movie he is making and I will not be surprised if he wins a back-to-back Oscar for direction this year.
But let’s go back to the style of the movie for a second. This film feels cold and fucking brutal. Yeah, these trappers in frontier Canada must have been lunatics. This movie will make you appreciate your cozy bed and warm apartment you probably are at right now while you read this. Never has a movie made me feel so cold and dirty. Everything feels so real and brutal, you will never want to go hiking again, certainly not in the winter.
Let’s talk about the actors. We have three major roles with Leonardo Di Caprio taking the lead. His performance is stellar. Even though he has almost no dialogue, or let’s say, he grunts and breathes heavily more than he is talks, what he had to go through for filming his scenes… Man! This guy! And I already feel bad for him because while his performance will get him his 8th or so Oscar nomination, he is up against Eddy Redmayne for The Danish Girl and Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs. So, most likely he will come out empty again, and at this point it’s just becoming a tragedy.
Then we have Tom Hardy who is always good. However, in this performance he falls back into his “Tom Hardynisms”. Just like in Legend, it is so hard to understand a word he says. I guess it has become his signature style at this point, but I still love him to death.
Lastly, we have Domhnall Gleeson who seems to be in every movie this year (Ex Machina, Star Wars, Brooklyn – which I have not seen yet, and The Revenant). And again, he is very good.
As I said, the story is very simple and straight forward. Also the movie is 2h 30 minutes long and for such a simple story it can become a real drag at points. However, this movie is more about the visceral experience of the extreme torture the character of Leonardo Di Caprio has to go through. Paired with the hyper real cinematic style it only makes sense to drag it out and make the viewer feel like going through the extreme circumstances with the main character. Some people will be bothered by it, but I enjoyed every minute and just looked at the screen with a big awe in my face, although I must say, half an hour less I would have been ok with.
Also, occasionally I felt like a dirty piece of goo because of the violent nature of events that were presented to me on film. It gets gory, but because it is so realistically shot, you have to accept it. That’s reality and reality is not always pretty. There is a bear scene in this movie. Watch it and you will understand my point. It is such an achievement, I wonder how they even shot it.
Another compliment I will give the movie is that the Native Americans never felt so real before. A lot of that comes from in the details, which btw. the production design is magnificent.
This movie is an achievement in cinema and everybody should see it in the movie theatre on the biggest screen possible.
Yes, the story is very basic and there is pretty much no levity or humor in this movie at all. But that’s not the point.
All I can say is that everybody who streams the movie on poor quality on a small laptop screen has absolutely no respect for what Alejandro Gonzales Inaritu and his team have accomplished here and no respect for the art of cinema in general. Everybody who feels guilty upon reading this should be ashamed of himself and asking his or her mother why he/she ended up like this.
Go out and pay the money to watch something you have not ever experienced before, I promise. And do it now! Who knows how long this movie will stay in the movie theatre. Don’t watch Star Wars! Go watch the Revenant first and then Star Wars. After all, Star Wars will stay in the movie theaters for months!
Btw. If you haven’t watched Star Wars yet… Really?!?!