In The Revenant, director Alejandro González Iñárritu takes audiences into the darkest depths of the savagery, telling the story of one man’s rollercoaster ride of survival and his quest for revenge.
In an 1823 expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, explorer and fur trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his hunting team. Surviving his ordeal, Glass sets out to get revenge on the men who murdered his son, and left him for dead.
With a few Golden Globe nominations under its belt, The Revenant is set for a very successful awards season in 2016. Here’s five reasons to watch this cinematic masterpiece:
5. Symphony of the wild
The Revenant is powered forward by a wondrous, and often dreamlike score from the talents who are at the top of their game: Bryce Dessner, Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The musical palettes of these three composers help craft a score that moves from an ethereal dream-like quality to an adrenaline charging heavy sound that propels Glass’s quest for survival.
4. Tom Hardy – a portrait of humanity at its worst
Drenched in mud and blood, and bearing the scars of many failed wilderness campaigns is Tom Hardy’s John Fitzgerald – a character that dispels the worse sides of human nature. Miserly, cowardly, and without remorse for his actions, Hardy’s Fitzgerald is a direct contrast to DiCaprio’s stalwart, man of action, and their inevitable showdown is a bloody, nasty mess of two foes who have nothing left to lose.
3. Eye of the creator
Cinematographer Emmanual Lubezki demonstrates his masterful eye for beauty, capturing the wild landscape in such a way that audiences will become lost in its mesmerising imagery. The changing landscapes and seasonal shift from a rain clogged autumn to the snow laden winter effortlessly finds its way on screen, ensuring students of cinema and photography will come to hold The Revenant as one of the most beautifully captured films of 2015.
2. Cinema in its rawest form
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu has captured a rough and raw world completely bereft of civilisation, where man can only survive by his wits and willpower. Iñárritu spares his audience none of the brutality of this epic story, from the opening attack on a fur trading camp by Arikara warriors, which erupts in a hail of arrows and gunpowder, to the horrendous plight of Hugh Glass as he is mauled within an inch of his life by a Grizzly Bear. Iñárritu’s vision is large, but thankfully he had the heart, talent and experience to turn The Revenant into a watchable feast for the eyes.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio – a savage performance
At the heart of The Revenant is Leonardo DiCaprio, who gives his most savage and transformative performance yet. Though the role of Hugh Glass is a largely silent, there’s not one moment that the audience won’t be transfixed by DiCaprio and his impressive and convincing performance. There’s no doubt he will be a front runner during next year’s Oscar race, having already secured a Golden Globe nomination that’s his to lose.
Image source: 20th Century Fox.