Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Revenant

Movie Name: The Revenant
Year of Release: 2015
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Paul Anderson, Robert Moloney, Lukas Haas, Joshua Burge, Fabrice Adde
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

Synopsis & Review:
Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is back, alongside his creative team, with another stupendous and indelible filmic experience. The film is an adaptation of the novel by Michael Punke, and follows the story of fur trapper Hugh Glass in the 19th century. The film introduces us to a group of men who are in the process of gathering pelts for trade in the South Dakota area. Following an attack from Native Americans (themselves looking for one of their own who was kidnapped), the group retreats and takes to the river in order to get back to their fort. While trekking to go back, Glass the scout of the group (alongside his son), is brutally mauled by a bear. The Captain of the militia, orders the team to carry him back for care, but the path reveals itself unbearable while taking the wounded Glass. A small group stays behind to tend to Glass, including his son, and Fitzgerald, an ambitious and unscrupulous trader, who kills Glass's son and leaves him for dead. Glass miraculously manages to gather strength and slowly starts a path through the frozen grounds to claim his vengeance.
"The Revenant" manages to be a fantastic film worth watching and savoring on so many levels. It's phenomenally shot, all in beautiful locations, with each frame stunningly composed by Emmanuel Lubezki, which makes this a gorgeous film to look at. It's also a continuation of the themes that Inarritu has dabbled in before, particularly in "Biutiful", where we also had the father figure going through extremes to make sure his child was taken care of (something common to the constant care of Glass' character in this film). "The Revenant" also marries successfully the poetic tone of Glass' life experiences, namely his communion with nature with his cherished life with his wife and child (both scarred after a brutal attack from the military, which left his wife dead and his child burned). The film feels a bit influenced at points by the tone of Terrence Malick, but is never derivative, and never veers into abstract contemplation. In parallel with this tone, there's also the fantastically gruesome and brutal side of nature, and how the main character suffers through the hardship of multiple attacks - in quite a graphic and impressive way (though it's human nature at its ugliest that reveals to be the most gruesome of what's depicted). Leonardo DiCaprio creates a character that is the heart and soul of the film, giving Hugh Glass a steely resolve, but also a beating heart for his child and for the family that no longer exists. The score by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto is equally fantastic in itself! A beautiful film worth watching!