The Revenant: A Masterclass by DiCaprio


One of the most-awaited films of the year. How I have waited to watch this film. DiCaprio last appeared in The Wolf of Wall Street and he was amazing in that. I had wanted to watch Birdman but didn’t.

The Revenant is set in 1823 against the backdrop of a group of fur trappers. One of them, Hugh Glass, is mauled by a grizzly bear. The leader of the group, Captain Andrew Henry, says that he will reward the two men who stay with Glass till the very end and join the others after according him a proper burial. Glass’ half-Native son, Jim Bridger and John Fitzgerald volunteer to stay back. Fitzgerald murders Glass’ son as the latter helplessly watches. He then lies to Bridger about the son having disappeared and they try to bury Glass alive. Assuming that they have done a decent enough job, they set off to find the others. The rest of the story forms around how Glass survives and seeks revenge from the duo and defies all odds in his quest.

  1. DIRECTION: Alejandro Inarritu has done a marvellous job. The film moves along serenely and the events on screen are portrayed in a very realistic fashion.
  2. SCREENPLAY: The screenplay by Inarritu and Mark Smith is one of the film’s weaknesses. Adapted in part from Michael Punke’s book The Revenant, the screenplay moves along very slowly at times. It should have been a bit quicker. The shots seem far too long.
  3. EDITING/VFX/MUSIC: Stephen Mirrione does a fine job in bringing finesse to the editing aspect of the film. For a film set in the wilderness, the editing is super smooth. The visual effects team should take a bow, thanks to the grizzly bear they created. The bear’s movements were brilliantly done, apart from the bear itself. The music by Ryiuchi Sakamoto and Alva Noto scores high, with some brilliant pieces.
  4. CINEMATOGRAPHY: The biggest plus point of the movie. Emmanuel Lubezki has done a fantastic job behind the camera. The film, apart from one not-so-long shot, is shot entirely in natural light in Canada and South Argentina. The colours, dominated by orange, blue and white come together flawlessly. The camera movements, be it a crane shot, a hand-held one or a panorama, are really well-handled. As for the locations. Stunningly shot!
  5. PERFORMANCES: Tom Hardy’s antagonist is a despicable character and Hardy makes him even more so with a great performance. Just when you think he couldn’t be worse, he goes the distance, which adds further unpredictability to his character. Will Poulter adds an interesting element to the film. Domnhall Gleeson does his job very well and adds a gritty, likeable element to his character as soon as you see him in action. The star of the show is Leonardo DiCaprio, who is on a roll, to say the least. He brings Hugh Glass alive with his fantastic performance. Even in the over-drawn sequences, DiCaprio and the scenery keep the viewer engaged. Oscar? Maybe. He deserves it for almost all the films he has been nominated for and for The Departed.

The Revenant is an engaging film. The concept keeps you alert. Watch it for the performances, direction, story and cinematography. The screenplay may seem long-drawn but if you’ve watched a few Hindi films recently, you will not be dissatisfied.

My rating for The Revenant: 8.5/10

Please leave your comments at the bottom if possible. Note the ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons too (Sly reference)! My Facebook Page for writing, do check it out!

[Two uncles of mine told me I should keep the reviews shorter in order for them to have a better impact. I hope this one is better, Kaka(s)]


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