#Oscars2016: The Revenant

After Birdman last year, Alejandro Iñárritu is back with The Revenant, showing a man’s struggle to stay alive in order to get revenge for his son’s death.

alejandro inarritu leonardo dicaprio

The Revenant is something else, it’s an experience. After all the buzz around the way it was filmed, I was impatient to see the result. It was technically mind blowing, every shot and scene was carefully carried out, but a little too long and exhausting for my taste.

In Birdman, the whole movie is created around the illusion that it was filmed in one big take. The Revenant is filmed in a different way, but Iñárritu still introduced those beautiful long takes in many scenes. It’s as if he was trying to give us a 360° angle of his scenes, making us travel from character to character, seeing every aspect of the current situation. It’s fascinating!

However, with the desire to create visually striking shots and cultivate Emmanuel Lubezki’s amazing cinematography, the plot is lost. During some scenes, I had the impression that it was more about showing off than telling a story.

You guys know I’m all about storytelling, it’s my jam. I can overlook the technicalities of a film if the storytelling is great. There’s no storytelling here, it’s a survival guide told through those violent and striking shots. It’s a step by step experience, with each step focusing on one aspect of the story without taking the rest into account. When we follow Hugh Glass through snow, blood, and death, you forget about his goal, until it’s finally brought up again.

That being said, when you see scenes like the one with the bear or learn that it was all shot with natural lights over a ten month period, storytelling doesn’t seem that important.

I like that each year we have that one, sometimes two, directors that just go the extra mile with their visual effects and cinematographic techniques. All everyone is saying about The Revenant is how much that bear messed up Hugh Glass, and they are right. I’m so curious to see the behind the scenes for this one. It looks so real the way Hugh moves when he’s grabbed by the bear!

Leonardo Di Caprio The Revenant Tom Hardy

Now, let’s talk about the pillar of the film. There’s no denying, Leonardo DiCaprio is impressive. It’s not my favorite role he’s played, but what he pulled off in The Revenant is truly impressive. He’s also one of those actors that goes the extra mile for a part. I mean, everyone remember that scene in Django Unchained where he shattered a glass and opened his hand? Because I sure do.

I read an interview of him saying that at times he had to repeat to himself who his character was in order to go through the terrible filming conditions. He’s battling snow, wind, cold etc… The struggle is real and not studio made, and as an audience member, I appreciate that a lot!

The second pillar is Tom Hardy, and he’s not getting enough recognition here. This year he was on fire! In Mad Max he was a man of few words but of great strength, in Legend he played identical but incredibly different gangster twins, and in The Revenant he is this survival-driven psycho hunter, and he is scary. Even if he received a nod for Mad Max this year, he should have received one here too!

Overall, The Revenant is a strong Oscar contender, and I’m almost sure they’ll go home with Best Actor and Best Director. I won’t watch it a second time, but I still strongly recommend it, for the experience (or for science, like we say on the internet).

Rating: 3/5

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