- a person who returns.
- a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost.
There is a lot that can be said for the unfairness in Leonardo DiCaprio never recieving an Oscar, despite his tremendous performances in quite a number of movies.
I have a sneaking suspicion that some people still think of him as the pretty-boy from Titanic and The Beach, and that is really a shame. Because DiCaprio is one of the hardest working actors today (he averages just over one film per year, ever since his breakthrough in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993, and has as of today 36 projects listed as “in development” on IMDb… 36!). And not only that – he is one of the best actors out there, the man seem able to play almost anything, and after seeing him in The Revenant, I have come to the conclusion that Leonardo DiCaprio will from now on be able to make me buy a movie ticket based on his involvement alone.
The Revenant tells the (inspired by true events) story of Hugh Glass, an explorer leading a small team of surviving fur trappers through the vicious winter wilderness that is 1820’s America, after they have been attacked – and most of them killed – by native americans.
On a scout tour in the forest, Glass finds himself standing between two grizzly bear cubs and their mother, and he is brutally attacked…
I will say no more, even though there is a LOT more that could be said, you will have to (and I encourage you to) see for yourself!
Let’s get a few things out straight away. This IS DiCaprios film, he plays Glass and it is his story we get to follow. The pain, misery, fear, frustration and anger are all very palpable for me as the viewer. I can see it in DiCaprios face and I can hear it in his voice – what little he has left of it, after the bear tore out his throat. He embodies all the emotions to such a degree that I actually felt the freezing cold water and the snow, sitting there in the theater – dressed in my thick sweater.
The camera is right there, in his face… His dirty, banged up, tired and determined face.
This is a film about survival, about determination and about not succumbing to any sort of fate. It is also about revenge – but that is very much a secondary point.
-This is DiCaprios tour de force, and there should be no hesitation about that.
That being said, I would not be surprised if Tom Hardys performance as John Fitzgerald is mentioned in as equal high regard. Hardy has always been a fascinating actor, who seem able to play everything from the leading man in romantic comedies (This Means War, 2012) to supervillains in superhero-movies (The Dark Knight Rises, 2012). But what he does best though is play lunatics… The kind of trouble stirring lunatics that stand on the wall, screaming, banging their chest and rally everybody to get the revolution going! But if you look in their face, you can see that all they really want is chaos, violence and disorder.
Tom Hardy is fantastic in this film, relishing in playing a character that you instinctively hate, already from the start!
-It’s in the eyes…
The Revenant moves seemlessly between intimate (and sometimes painful) closeups, to sweeping landscape shots, showcasing not so much the beauty as the isolation and the relentlessness of nature, interspersed with Glass’ dream like hallucinations of his wife and child. The movie is shot using real light (as in no stage lights) and it has a very gritty and real feel to it – a style not unknown to director Alejandro González Iñárritu, who’s breakthrough was the fantastic Amores Perros (2000).
Making my way through the movie, after the fact, I find it hard to imagine anyone else, other than Alejandro, directing it – and certainly no one else other than DiCaprio starring in it…
-Make no mistake about it, this movie is a MUST SEE!
One last thing, because the scene where Glass is attacked by the grizzly bear absolutely needs to be mentioned!
I have seen a ridiculous amount of movies where characters are attacked by large animals/creatures. Everything from acid spitting aliens, dinosaurs and toxic waste enhanced spiders to lions, tigers and bears – oh my.
But the bear attack in The Revenant is the most horrific, panic filled and – for lack of a better word – REAL I have ever seen! I cannot remember blinking, or even breathing at all during that scene!
When you go see this movie (and you REALLY should), it will grab you from the get go, and you will have forgotten all about the bear attack – until it happens, and then you will wish you could forget it….but you never will!