Film Review: THE REVENANT. Hurtful to Watch But it's Worth It.

Film Review The Revenant Hurtful to Watch But it's Worth It.

As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe, keep breathing ~ Hugh Glass'Wife

Seriously, I can't remember the last time I've watched a movie that left me "breathless"... 'til I saw THE REVENANT.  

It was 1823 and nary a minute will The Revenant waste your time. Incredibly intense, beautifully-acted, amazing visuals, stunning cinematography. Merely 2 1/2 hours of watching DiCaprio in pain - and it satisfies.

The Revenant evolves through the chilling wintry wilderness during the 19th Century; imagine Saving Private Ryan and Dances with Wolves combined in one film. 

The plot is as simple as ABC - the film speaks of revenge, survival, man versus nature. Be prepared to drown in DiCaprio's eyes - he has been literally ripped from the start (so to speak) followed by harrowing experiences  - hurtful to watch yet makes one clamor for fresher conquests. The film was mostly shot in the remote wilds of Alberta, Canada and the ice-filled landscapes were breathtaking.

Tell you what,  the odyssey of the mountains, the trees dripping with icicles, the warmth of the sunset- they all will attempt to provide the audience the tranquil they needed beyond the violent turn of events.   After seeing this, I knew that I needed to see Oscar Winning "Birdman", from the same director Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu. 

THE REVENANT is adapted from a novel by Michael Punke. Set in the 19th Century, DiCaprio portrays Hugh Glass, a fur trapper/explorer who had been viciously attacked  by a bear and left for dead by own members of his own hunting team. If you're after a romantic DiCaprio flick, do yourself a favor and walk away. This is a vivid, raw and sadistic film - beautifully done by its superb Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. 

Iñarritu and Lubezki were both stubborn to shoot using natural light for The Revenant; that's no mean feat. Minimal daylight hours in freezing conditions? Bad-genius-ass duoTom Hardy plays the antagonist John Fitzgerald - dark humor, dirty mouth. Hardy, handsome in his own right, is the epitome of the cowardice of man. 

The chills and thrills that The Revenant provide its audience is brutally beautiful. Nicely paced, lesser heroic dialogues and  again,  Leo's eyes! He just communicates on screen albeit being alone in the wilderness. Worthy of an award indeed. It just takes you to his ordeal as Hugh Glass - will he succeed in getting revenge? More than that, it's the attitude of the humankind towards its nature that makes this film commendable. 


  • The Infamous Grizzly Bear Rape Attack Scene - Not once, but twice. Glass (DiCaprio) being mauled by the Grizzly Bear. DiCaprio being stripped raw, beaten, battered - oh goodness, tough to watch. Every violent detail was captured on this groundbreaking scene. I was squinting for a couple of minutes or so. DiCaprio's acting - priceless. You wouldn't even care if the bear was real. 
  • The Opening Scene - watch as it coasts along a comfortable path to serenity until the "real fight" comes in.
  • The Horse & Frozen River Rapid Scene - this is survival of the fittest fine-tuned. You might be lucky to have a glimpse of Leo's bare bod*
  • Production Design - this production design team knows what they're doing; from costumes to props - even Leo's prosthetics were almost too good to be true. They have invested countless of hours just to make sure the effects were that 'believable' on screen.


  • Showcased a limited background of Hugh Glass, his life, his ambition, his fear.  It's always interesting to see how a character develops from start to finish but I think the flashbacks (dream sequences) were not enough for the audience to comprehend Hugh Glass' personality - I needed to see more of Glass as a father, not a hunter. 

One of 2015's best films - spectacular cinematography, brilliant direction and acting from the cast. Weighing between revenge and survival, I see the film embracing the latter. It's ironic how the fur of the animal that almost killed him (DiCaprio/Glass) is also the same thing that saved his life. For Glass, he was all alone - yet he fought and survived. My take? Never fear death

Thanks for looking

Film Review The Revenant Hurtful to Watch But it's Worth It.


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