The Revenant has got a lousy official trailer. Yes, you read that right. I was not interested by Inarritu’s latest venture after I watched its trailer. How can I? The Revenant was marketed as the survival movie of America’s fur trapper Hugh Glass’ journey after he got mauled by a bear and his son killed by one of his team mates, when in fact the movie explores human’s trait deeper as well as its relationship with nature. Based on a novel by Michael Punke, The Revenant starts out weakly with the usual “we are foreigners and we killed the natives for selfish reasons”. But it got better after half an hour, precisely the moment when a giant bear attacked Hugh Glass in the most horrific way you can imagined. The CGI play in the scene was truly astounding, and I am for once glad the “famous” scene was not all spoiled in its trailer.
Albeit its semi cliché story line involving a man’s vengeance and harsh survival in the nature, The Revenant digs deeper than its given materials. Celebrated Mexican director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, direction is not always fast nor slow – it balances the character with its nature’s surrounding so well, that it makes for one surreal cinematic experience. Shot in the remote areas of Canada and some part in South America, The Revenant is not an easy movie to make. The harsh nature that includes dense forest, snowy mountain and rocky roads are all necessary aspects for the movie’s survival theme. However, Inarritu doesn’t focus solely on the rough side, but also showcases many of nature’s beauty as capture by the lens of my favourite cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.
The duo last teamed up for Inarritu’s golden movie, Birdman, who wowed many movie-goers. But, I sincerely think The Revenant to be their best works till date. There are many scenes that blew my mind away, one of them includes the moment Glass has to nurse himself back to health while depending on the nature around him. While the other favourite involves Hugh Glass and a dead horse on a freezing night – yes, the movie has many gory contents.
Leonardo DiCaprio is impressive as Hugh Glass. His emotions were guarded and never over-the-top through the movie. One would think after losing his son and being temporarily crippled by a bear, anyone would go insane. But, Leo’s Glass never showed defeat even in the hardest situation. His character does strikes me as passive with a hint of being spiritual; I might be reading too much into this but I find his character refreshing. Meanwhile, Tom Hardy who stars as the bad guy gave a good performance although too one-dimensional for my taste.
The last scene of The Revenant beautifully depicts the movie’s journey. The philosophical and supernatural ending brings a different conclusion to the movie that could easily fall flat if it’s not for Inarritu’s renowned and bizarre ending.