‘The Revenant’: A visually stunning masterpiece

Photo courtesy of www.laguiadelvaron.com

Review by Adam Winn, Staff writer

Most moviegoers who haven’t seen the film ‘The Revenant’ are probably  at least familiar with the flick, as it has already become one of the biggest hits of 2016. The film has won and is continuing to be nominated for dozens of awards throughout the entertainment industry. That said, is the movie worth the time to watch? Yes, because at its core, this film is an excellent story involving family, survival and most importantly, revenge.

Before getting into the plot, it’s best to mention that the film is set in the 1820s and follows a group of men involved in a fur trade expedition. As for the plot, after an attack is made on the party of trappers by the Arikara Native American tribe, the remaining survivors head back to the nearest outpost to regroup. Along the way, an American frontiersman in the group named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is viciously attacked by a bear and is left barely alive.

The other remaining men, including Glass’s son Hawk, take on the role of carrying him on their way back to the outpost. Once the group reaches a dangerous point in their return trip and realize they can’t carry Glass with them in his weakened state, a couple of the men volunteer to stay behind and care for him, while the rest continue to head back to their base.

Among the remaining men, a man named John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) makes an unforgivable decision,  betraying Glass and, in the process, ends up leaving him for dead. Relying on his undeniable amount of anger and strength, Glass survives. After this, he goes on a journey through hell and back in the hopes of seeking revenge against Fitzgerald for the betrayals he committed against him.

For starters, the film is a technical work of art with each particular shot carefully and meticulously planned out in advance. The camera work is done so well that it tricks the viewer into believing that they are actually there in the wilderness with Glass and all of the other men. It’s also notable to mention that the movie was all shot in natural light. By doing so, it adds more realism to the film, especially compared to most other movies that usually just edit the lighting in post-production.

The acting is nothing short of amazing by everyone involved in the film. DiCaprio gives one of his best performances to date portraying Glass. He does the part so well that the viewer can feel his character’s emotions, such as rage or sadness, to the point that it almost becomes stressful to watch.

The viewer watches him endure more brutality that most people have faced in their whole lifetime. At one point his character says, “I ain’t afraid to die no more, I done it already” and the viewer can believe he means it.

Many theatergoers will think that DiCaprio gave the film’s best performance, but others may think that Hardy’s portrayal as the brutal antagonist Fitzgerald was the ultimate juggernaut of the movie. Hardy plays the role with such ferocity that he could give his character Bane from the “Dark Knight Rises” nightmares.

While the film is a visual masterpiece and contains amazing acting jobs from the cast, the movie is not flawless. The length of the film, like most of DiCaprio’s previous movies, is extremely long and is overly drawn out to the point that the viewer may start to get a bit bored while watching. A few of the scenes could even have been omitted or shortened and it wouldn’t have hurt the overall quality of the film.

Movie viewers who haven’t seen ‘The Revenant’ in theaters yet, do yourself a favor and go check the film out. It contains some of the best acting in recent memory and is so vivid and graphic that no review could give the film the appropriate justice it deserves.