It is hard to describe how good Leonardo DiCaprio, he puts himself out for the sake of art, unfortunately for a film as ordinary as Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’.
Set in 1823’s South Dakota, Quasi military hunters and trappers are in quest of pelts and have taken control over the land previously inhabited by North American tribe Arikara. To get even with the injustice inflict on them, the tribe launches attack on the hunters, leaving one part of the group alive who manages to escape from the brutal retaliation.
Mobility of the group gets disrupted when Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), most experienced guide, stumbles upon the grizzly bear, who gravely injures him before getting killed by the bowie knife stabbed on her.
Unable to provide further medical care to Glass and causing more obstacles, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy)- One of the group member – suggest to kill Hugh inorder to move on faster to reach their destination. No one pay any heed to his suggestion as everyone believes only Glass can guide them in this expenditure. John, however, does attempt to kill Hugh but in the course, ends up killing his son Hawk, who comes to his rescue. Having been left to die, Hugh vows revenge to finish off his nemesis.
I wasn’t expecting a ‘Birdman’ to be honest, but I did had an expectation of a compelling storytelling given the calibre of Alejandaro, instead he plays to the gallery. The biggest problem of The Revenant is that it has nothing new to offer, finds comfort in convention of a routine vendatta plot. His direction demonstrates credibility but never rises from a weak script. What did hurt me the most is the long duration that stretched with a climax one can easily predict miles away and by the time our hero successfully completes his revenge, excitement have faded already
It is astoundingly captured by the powerful lens of Emmanuel ‘Chivo’ Lubezki‘s, my favorite scene, and film’s brutal moment, is Grizzly bear’s shocking assault on Hugh – where the bear maul and grind him not once, twice but thrice, sending out major chills to our seat, also staged brilliantly is the showdown between Arikara and Hunter group in the opening sequence.
The journey of Hugh Glass – from recuperating with strength, crawling-walking, swimming against the force of river, feeding on dead bison, slitting horse’s body to slumber – churns your stomach and are chillingly shot. Leonardo DiCaprio, in his career’s most grueling role, is remarkable as the bruised guide thirsty for revenge and is one of the prime reason why The Revenant is entirely watchable, his performance literally screams out loud and clear – Give me the Oscars this year and he is likely to claim the trophy and it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Unfortunately, same cannot be said for Tom Hardy. First thing first, I had a difficult time to decipher his dialogues, nearly mumbling every word and secondly his antagonistic act, though earnest, seldom creeps our nerves.
Is it thrilling? Yes ! Unquestionably, Masterpiece – Sorry, No.
The Revenant is a good film that deserves your time particularly for Leonardo DiCaprio’s powerful act and Chivo’s striking photography, nothing more than that. It is, however, advised to keep the expectations low to say the least.