The Revenant is semi-western film based on the novel of the same name, which was based on the true story of fur trapper Hugh Glass played by Leonardo Dicaprio. Hugh Glass is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Glass endures unimaginable grief and goes on a search for vengeance against his antagonist John Fitzgerald played by Tom Hardy.
I didn’t like this movie a lot, it’s a basic revenge story and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that if you’re going to have a revenge story, you should make the motivations of the protagonist feel real and powerful — I didn’t feel that in this film. The character of Glass was underdeveloped emotionally, his crucial relationship with his son was poorly established and I was given no reason to care for his wife. He gets mauled by the bear before he can form any real relationship and soon after that we get about 2 solid hours of Leo Dicaprio fighting for dear life in the worst wilderness circumstances.
It’s without a doubt a beautiful movie — even from my old and dying laptop I could clearly notice the scenery. I’d read a lot about their struggle to use natural lighting and yeah it was nice, sorta? I don’t know, I’m not nitpicky when it comes to cinematography. Maybe that’s why it all became overbearing after some time. There’s shots of beautiful mountains, foggy breath, pretty snow and cool extended shots but all this beauty wasn’t coupled with any character development.
It felt like Emmanuel Lubezki (cinematographer), Alejandro Inarritu (director) and Leonardo Dicaprio (lead actor) were all trying to do something groundbreaking and win awards in their fields with little concerns for the story. The only one who seemed to not care about all this was Tom Hardy and he was awesome, his character is fascinating.
Overall, The Revenant was amazing in certain aspects and failed in others. By far my least favorite Inarritu movie, with a movie like Birdman he was able to tell a good story while making these phenomenal artistic achievements. This one really fell short.
6/10 would “cautiously” recommend!