Dances with wolves... and a bear
Classic Elsternwick - Wednesday 13 January 2016, 12:00pm
Running time: 156m
Country: United States
Classification: MA15+ (Strong frontier combat, gore, language, brief nudity, sexual themes)
Release date: 07/01/16
Cost: $15 (Classic member)
Rating: 7/10 (3.5/5 ME, 3.5/5 DP)
Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a hunter with a team of fur hunters in frontier America in the early 1800s. Following an ambush by local native Americans, the survivors flee in the hope of returning to the safety of their fort. Glass gets mauled by a bear and is near death when the party splits. Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), Bridger (Will Poulter) and Glass’ native American son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) stay behind and agree to care for Glass until his (seemingly) inevitable death. From here the individual quests for survival, greed and revenge take bizarre turns.
The Revenant is a gritty, grim and highly disturbing frontier drama from Alejandro G Iñárritu, the director behind 2015 best film Oscar winner Birdman. It is a clash of cultures piece where the empathy of viewer continually shifts. DiCaprio’s Glass is the bridge between the cultures and his performance is brilliant and traumatic. Tom Hardy manages to make his performances of the psychotic Kray twins in Legend look like Mother Teresa in comparison with a character that is ruthless, cold and cunning. The dialogue is limited (Leonardo DiCaprio groans, hisses, moans and spits blood for much of the film) and there is an incompleteness to the back story that adds to the bleak sense of isolation.
The Revenant is a very violent and graphic film with imagery that is disturbing and confronting. It is not for the faint hearted and there were many moments when we were looking away from the screen. Elements that could have been expressed through dialogue or suggestion are on screen in every bit of their bloody, gooey, slimy, revolting detail. This is not a subtle film and much of the graphic violence is explicit and excessive. The cinematography, sound and score are stunning but it’s a little too long and the the ending heads in a predictable direction. It’s easy to see why it has attracted award nominations though it’s not as easy film to watch. (ME)
88th Academy Awards
2016 BAFTA Awards
5th AACTA International Awards
22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards
73rd Golden Globe Awards