Film review: The Revenant

By Alex Roden

Will he win it? That is undoubtedly the first question that will enter your head when watching The Revenant, possibly Leonardo Di Caprio’s best chance of clinching that Oscar.

Aside from all the award-talk, this spectacular film is raw, savage and beautiful.  Brought to us by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, director of the Academy Award winning drama, Birdman, we are introduced to the fur trapper, Hugh Glass.  Following a gut wrenchingly brutal confrontation with a grizzly bear, Glass is forced into a new battle; his broken body versus nature and his own mind.  Iñárritu’s relentless attitude to film making is evident, the 9-month shoot and the relocating to a different continent to get the right weather, speak for itself.  The risky choice of keeping visual effects to a minimum are rewarding, the primal, rugged landscapes are awe-inspiring and combined with the ominous, wild score by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, the surroundings become alien.  However, it is impossible to get away from Di Caprio’s performance.  Taking the role of a Nineteenth Century Bear Grylls, his commitment to Glass’ character is faultless.  Such so that it leaves you wondering whether The Wolf of Wall Street star’s screams are genuine, longing to get out of the frozen hell that surrounds him.  The supporting cast also do the director justice, Will Poulter and Tom Hardy exceptional, the latter offering a similar, dangerous unpredictability as he did as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Iñárritu may very well have followed up an Oscar win with another, The Revenant is hypnotically beautiful, savagely violent and very real, I wouldn’t put it past it to clean up at this year’s ceremony.