Film-maker Alejandro G. Iñárritu deservedly won the Best Directing Oscar for the innovative narrative on the critically acclaimed Birdman. It’s fair to say that Iñárritu has not rested on his laurels with The Revenant.
The film – already nominated for several Academy Awards – stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy and tells the wild story of legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) as he seeks revenge on John Fitzgerald (Hardy) for killing his son and leaving him (Glass) for dead, after he is incapacitated by a vicious Grizzly Bear attack.
The manner in which Glass drags himself back from the dead, surviving both human and natural threats along the way, is told in visceral detail with breathtakingly gorgeous locales providing the backdrop for his painful struggle. The contrasts are hard to ignore.
DiCaprio puts his body on the line for his art as Glass encounters every possible obstacle as he drives on to deliver his vengeance on Fitzgerald. Although the movie’s main focus is on Glass and his travails, it’s hard not to notice the atrocities being committed by the foreign settlers and native Americans on each other as cultures collide.
Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubeski engineer an immersive experience for film-goers, with tight shots interchanged with wide panoramic views, to remind us of the intensely personal stakes and the challenging environment that the protagonist and the antagonist have to contend with.
An engaging film that is wonderfully made, with strong performances by DiCaprio, Hardy and Domnhall Glesson.