Movie of the Week: “The Revenant”

“The Revenant,” championed by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, is one of the most impressive pieces of cinema ever. The same director of the critically acclaimed “Birdman” and “Death Trilogy” movies, Iñárritu takes “The Revenant” to unprecedented places in terms of scope and ambition. Shot entirely in the natural lighting of nature, the film is breathtaking in its cinematography. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, the movie saw the former winning his long awaited Best Actor Academy Award. The movie also happen to win the Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Picture.

Based on the novel of the same name, it follows the true life story of frontiersman Hugh Glass. Though lacking greatly in historical accuracy, the film’s plot and landscape make this movie realer than most. With shooting in Canada, Argentina, and the United States, the movie captures multiple natural landscapes that leaves the audience speechless. From lush forests to blizzard wastes to beautiful rivers, the main character treads across the brutal beauty that is the Dakota frontier.

The movie begins with Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) guiding a group of frontier trappers in today’s Dakota territory until they are attack by an Arikara war party. Losing a majority of their group to the Arikara, the group decides to travel on foot to the nearby Fort Kiowa. However, Glass is attacked by a bear on the way and becomes fatally injured. Unable to bring himself to put him out of his misery, the Captain pays for two men to stay with Glass along with Glass’s son to bury him after he succumbs to his injuries. But one of the men, Fitzgerald (Hardy), attempts to smother Glass. With Glass’s son seeing Fitzgerald doing this, Fitzgerald kills the boy in front of Glass and leaves Glass there to die. Left for dead, Glass spends the rest of the film clawing for survival and retribution.

“The Revenant” is a unique movie. It juxtaposes the beauty of the setting with harsh reality of the wilderness. The Academy Award winning lead barely speaks throughout the movie and yet his acting in the difficult setting is spectacular. Tom Hardy is exceptional in playing a believable antagonist that is directly pitted against the main character. The music and cinematography are gorgeous while the costume design feels as real as the landscape itself. This film was made for people who love movies and the wild.

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