Leonardo DiCaprio does NOT get raped by a bear. Don’t worry, it’s safe to watch.
The Revenant. Winner of three Golden Globes, nominated for a whopping amount of 12(!!) Oscars. And according to some, the movie that will finally grant Leo his Academy Award. BUT is it worth the watch for the casual movie lover or is it just another Oscar bait?
So ‘The Revenant’ is inspired by the story of legendary explorer Hugh Glass, played by DiCaprio. It’s the nineteenth century and our dear friend is on a fur trading expedition in the uncharted American wilderness. But after an extremely violent encounter with a bear. He is barely -lol- able to hold on to his life and to top it all off he gets left behind by the rest of the crew. What a lovely way to start off a story.
Give that man his Oscar already
First off, I want to acknowledge how insanely beautiful this movie looks. Seriously, it’s impossible for me to explain how much of a visual and immersive experience this movie was without doing it injustice. It’s just not possible… well not in a legal way at least. And this mainly because the creators decided to film almost all of the scenes in natural light. Yeah, you heard me. Every shot you see in this movie, except for one scene. Natural light. Needless to say, this made the production process a hell of lot more complicated. But it resulted in a movie that looks gorgeous and feels immersive. More so than any movie I have ever seen.
Everything from the natural lighting to the camerawork, the costume design and whatnot; made the scenes feel so real that it was terrifying sometimes. I mean, this is a movie that clearly demands a reaction out of the audience. Wether it’s positive or negative, you’re just so aware of everything that is happening. Which means you’re also aware when something is not happening. There are several bits in ‘The Revenant’, majestic as they may be, where the pacing feels a bit off and you can’t help but wonder: where is he going with this? It almost feels like the director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, is stretching the movie just because…because he can. Because it’s a way for him to show off the beauty of this film.
But the big question and probably the biggest reason why a lot of people are curious about this movie: can it finally put an Oscar in Leonardo DiCaprio’s hands? Hmm, it just might. I have seen him play a lot of different roles, I have seen him play a lot of similar roles. But never have I seen him act out this much raw emotion in such a believable fashion. And he did it with minimal dialogue too. So as far as I am concerned, give that man his Oscar already.
And then there’s Domhnall Gleeson, who plays the captain of the expedition team. Once again, he shows us why he has been in every big movie this year. What else can I say, it was exactly as it should have been. There’s also that angry kid from the first Maze runner who does his job. But the one who stood out for me personally, was Tom friggin Hardy. Who, once again, gives us a stellar performance. This time as antagonist Fitzgerald who is also part of the expedition. He is brutal, uncompromising but in the end; still human. And this is exactly what makes him so menacing. Tom Hardy doesn’t play the guy who disappears when the movie ends. He plays the guy who lives across the street or who might even be a part of you. And that is scary as hell.
So…The Revenant, should you watch it? I will say this movie is definitely one of 2015’s best. No doubt. It is visually captivating, extremely well acted and it’s one of, if not, the most immersive film I have ever seen. But it’s not for everyone. This kind of realistic approach and pacing can be kind of uncomfortable to watch. It almost feels like poetry a lot of the times and just like a lot of avid readers can’t seem to enjoy poetry, a lot of moviegoers won’t enjoy sitting through this movie. Which is ok because I’m pretty sure they weren’t going for that.
So if you have the patience for a unique and beautiful experience, go watch it in theaters right now. But if you’re looking for an action filled war epic, you might as well go watch Alvin and the Chipmunks. Bottom line is: set your expectations.
Please don’t go watch Alvin and the chipmunks. just…just don’t.
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhall Gleeson
Duration: 156 minutes
How to watch? -with a fur coat, on the big screen