Academy award winning director Alejandro Inarritu leads Leonardo DiCaprio through one of the most difficult performances of his career. “The Revenant” which is based off a true story, takes place in the 1820s and centers on a man named Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) who gets brutally mauled by a bear and is left in the wilderness for dead. When tragedy strikes, Glass utilizes his survival skills and attempts to seek revenge on the man that betrayed and deserted him.
“The Revenant” is extremely gory, and within the first five minutes of the film the audience witnesses blood, guts, gore and brutality. It starts off with a lot of action, with Glass and his hunting team at war with the Native Americans. Not long after the attacks, Glass is one on one with a real life looking bear. The animal tears Glass almost to shreds, and the scene in which this occurs is mind blowing. Between the realism of the bear, DiCaprio’s acting, and the way the director shot the scene it looks incredibly realistic and therefore is quite difficult to watch.
The acting in this film is fantastic. Leonardo DiCaprio is perfect for this role. This is the hardest role he has ever played, while eating raw meat, sleeping in animal carcass and trying to perform in unbearable weather conditions, he still manages to transform into the legendary Hugh Glass. He barely speaks during the entire film, and majority of his acting comes from his physical movements, his facial expressions and the subtext he gives off through those expressions and his eyes. He doesn’t have to speak in order for the audience to understand his pain and anguish, or his thirst for hatred and revenge. His adrenaline and his strive to seek vengeance to the man that betrayed him, and left him to die is what keeps the audience constantly engaged. Throughout the film he endures unimaginable circumstances and the determination is empowering and inspiring and to know this is a true story is all the more amazing. This is DiCaprio’s 5th Academy Award nomination for acting, (he was previously nominated for “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “The Aviator”, “Blood Diamond”, and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”) and personally after seeing his flawless performance this could be his year to finally win the most prestigious award for his craft.
The film, although starts off with a lot of action starts to slow in the middle and doesn’t pick up until towards the end. Inarritu does a fantastic job showcasing the insufferable environment with the freezing cold temperatures, the desolate open wilderness with just cold hearted killers and the barely there animals. DiCaprio helps create Inarritu’s savageness vision by illustrating Glass’s suffering with depicting this character as a persistent warrior whose revenge is the basis of the film.
In conclusion, “The Revenant” is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys films based off of true stories, thrilling but gory tales and films starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Also, to anyone who enjoys films that focus on one man immersed with passion, rage, and determination for his struggle to not only survive but to revolt against his own team to fight as a warrior and seek the justice he very well deserves.