DiCaprio in the Wilderness
Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio - The Great Gatsby) has been hired by Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson - Ex Machina) to guide him and his men through the mountains and forests on a hunting trip. And unsurprisingly not everyone likes being bossed about by Glass, with John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy - Legend) not taking kindly to Glass or his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck). But when Glass is mauled by a bear and barely clinging on to life he finds himself betrayd by Fitzgerald who not only murders Hawk but leaves Glass to die in the dirt he dragged him into. Fuelled by the pain of seeing his son killed and a burning need for revenge Glass sets to crawl and limp through the frozen forests in his hope of catching up with Fitzgerald.
Let me tell you, what I love about "The Revenant" is something director Alejandro G. Iñárritu said "If we ended up in greenscreen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of sh!t". And I couldn't agree with him more because so many big movies these days lose their impact because it doesn't look believable but here in "The Revenant" when we see the actors moving through deep snow, fighting next to rivers and so on you never think for a minute that they are in some studio in front of a big green screen. Of course there are some computer generated elements in the movie but they don't dominate "The Revenant" or make it seem fake.
But whilst I truly love the authenticity of what Alejandro G. Iñárritu did with "The Revenant" there is a side to this movie which I don't like. It isn't that at 156 minutes it is too long but there are times where we have scenes and shots thrown in which to me whilst beautiful only end up distractions due to there almost artsy nature. It is for me a case that in the woods and snow covered mountains Iñárritu might have been transfixed by the beauty of his surroundings and on one or two ocassions he indulged himself by adding them to the movie.
Yet all of this ends up meaning that "The Revenant" is a beautiful looking movie and it is also a well acted movie with a great supporting cast delivering powerful performances, especially Tom Hardy who deservedly was Oscar nominated for his part. But of course the star is Leonardo DiCaprio and as Hugh Glass he delivers what for me has been his most complete performance to date, fully committed to delivering Glass as a man driven by a desire for revenge no matter what he has to endure on his journey to get it. It is little wonder that following making "The Revenant" that DiCaprio took some time out because I imagine he left little in the barn when it came to what he put into this performance.
What this all boils down to is that "The Revenant" is a hugely impressive movie and one which deserves being watched more than once despite not being in any sense of the word complex. But for me there are times when a few too many beautiful shots spoil the movie as they add nothing to the movie.