2016 is off to an excellent start thanks to the brutality of this tale of survival and bloody revenge in The Revenant. Coming off the success of The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio is back in his best role yet as a fur-trading frontiersman named Hugh Glass who is left for dead after a near fatal bear mauling. In the process, his son is brutally murder by Tom Hardy's character John Fitzgerald and the rest of the film is his survival as he travels more than 200 miles to exact revenge.
There is so much to be said about this excellent film that was a hand-crafted masterpiece of gore and suspense, this is from director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who made the slightly overrated best picture winner Birdman, whose style was to craft a one shot movie. The direction is marvelous as it pits you into every scene as if you were standing in the midst of all the chaos and violence. The lush cinematography only enhances every frame of this film to perfection because almost every location is real. The opening shot involving water begins very quiet and peaceful but soon evolves into one of the best one-shot takes I've ever seen within just the first 10 minutes. As the film continues, the camera work gets closer and closer to the actors which gives the viewer the feeling as if they are standing right in front of them. This is one of the only films in history to always use natural lighting and was incredibly difficult because the cast and crew only had so much time to film their scenes at just the right moments.
The story is not as simple as many maybe led to believe because there are various hidden meanings and metaphors that are scattered throughout Glass's survival that were stunning. But, be warned; this is an extremely graphic and brutally intense movie that is not for the squeamish; the entire audience, including myself, were terrified at the brutality going on on screen. When Glass climbs out and is dragging across the ground, the camera-work is so perfect, I felt as if I was right behind him throughout the entire scene. From then until the end of the film, he has to survive various scenarios that will knock you flat.
Also, there's a bear attack and...let's just say it will terrify anyone for just how realistic is looks and will make anyone wonder, "how in the hell did they do that?"
The Revenant is an incredibly brisk motion picture that is more than just your average tale of revenge and has the best performance ever by Leonardo DiCaprio as well as an amazing supporting performance by Tom Hardy who does the best work he's done since Bronson. This is a brutal, intense, and shocking film that will never be forgotten and is one of the greatest films in this century alone. Congrats to all who made this, and DiCaprio MUST win the Oscar because his performance was one of a kind.
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