The Revenant: Film Review – Leonardo’s Endurance Test

Verdict: A gripping tale that makes you go through many emotions.
 
Alejandro González Iñárritu's movies have always garnered mixed reactions from the audience. Some loved Birdman, while others found it terribly boring. His latest movie, The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has gained critical acclaim for its direction, cinematography and the performance of the lead actor. Based on a true story, the events in the movie are nothing short of terrifying. Leonardo DiCaprio's portrayal of the indestructible 19th century fur-trapper Hugh Glass is particularly noteworthy. The movie has won several awards and Leo DiCaprio is the front-runner in this year's Oscar's Best Actor race, having bagged every other Best Actor award.

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Hugh Glass is a hunter in a party of trappers, led by Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). They go on an expedition in the American wilderness to hunt for pelts. The movie opens with a surprise attack on the party by a group of Arikara Native Americans, who kill many trappers, while the rest of the group manages to flee. On the recommendation of Glass, who is the most experienced hunter in the group, the party begin the journey to their outpost on foot. On the way, Glass is attacked by a female bear when he disturbs her cubs. Gravely injured, Glass is unable to walk and has to be carried on a stretcher by his fellow hunters. The party is still pursued by the Arikara tribe, and Glass' injuries slow them down on the journey. Unwilling to abandon him, Henry orders two of the huntsmen, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Jim Bridger (Will Poulter), to stay back and care for Glass and give him a proper burial in case he succumbs to his injuries.
 
However, Fitzgerald attacks Glass and kills his half-Native son, Hawk. Along with Bridger, who is unaware of Hawk's death, he flees to the outpost. What follows is Hugh Glass' unimaginable journey to the outpost in the brutal winter, while being followed by the Arikara. He faces many challenges along the way, having to eat raw bison meat and live in the carcass of a horse, before finally making it to his destination. Once Glass is healed, he has only one thing on his mind – revenge! He sets out on another journey to find Fitzgerald and get closure.
 
While the start of the movie is packed with action, the pace slows down later, as Hugh Glass is the sole character on screen. The fight sequences barely last a few minutes, leaving you begging for more. The beauty of the movie is in its plot, which follows the character of Leo DiCaprio through his journey from desperation to perseverance to vengeance. Leo's determination is strong – neither natural nor human circumstances will make him give up. Even as the movie starts slowing down, his performance ignites empathy and awe. The cinematography sends a chill down the spine, bringing home the rough weather conditions experienced by the frontiersmen.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch it for Leonardo DiCaprio's phenomenal performance. Rumor has it that the vegetarian actor actually ate raw bison meat for this film! The Academy Awards love characters like this that elicit sympathy, and Leo is the likeliest choice for the Oscar. The movie deserves a watch for Iñárritu's direction and the cinematography, too.

 

By Delnaz Divecha

Release Date: 2016-02-26
Language: English
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Genre: Action, Drama
Cast & Crew: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson
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