Many may wonder why Leonardo DiCaprio has not won an Oscar. He has been nominated for numerous acting awards and has not one once. “The Revenant” better be one where he wins though. “The Revenant” is a film that is visually stunning with scenery, action, and close-up shots that make viewers feel they are part of the movie. Alejandro G. Inarritu has outdone himself with “The Revenant.” I thought at first that “Birdman” was his best, but “The Revenant” takes his directing to a whole new level.
Most of the movie is predictable, however, predictable in a context where the predictability establishes a good, suspense plot for its viewers. DiCaprio is Hugh Glass, a huntsman who is left for a bear mauling. Then there is F. Scott Fitzgerald (played by Tom Hardy), the outspoken, arrogant, and aggravating hunter along with Glass. Fitzgerald is the one that leaves Glass to be attacked by the bear, betrays his paths, and takes it out on killing Glass’s son. This leaves Glass to go on a ravaging journey for revenge against Fitzgerald.
What made the movie suspenseful was its use of scenery. I saw this at an advanced screening and Will Poulter (who has a role in the movie) was there. He mentioned that all the lighting in “The Revenant” was filmed with natural lighting. That natural lighting is used so perfectly where audience feel as if they are being embraced in the wilderness of British Columbia. The natural lighting and the wild animals all play for an experience that is very enticing. Inarritu’s use of cinematography reminded me of the director David Fincher. I say this because the outdoor cinematography of “The Revenant” looked similar to Fincher’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (2011). The cinematography of outdoors in that movie was on an island in Sweden. I can tell readers now that with “The Revenant,” there are in for a treat with scenery and excitement.
For DiCaprio, he does quite well with all of the hard elements he had to go through with making “The Revenant.” This includes him getting hypothermia, and sleeping in animal carcasses. That is disgusting with complete honesty. I find that the scenes where animal carcasses are involved plays into the brilliant style of directing of Inarritu. The scenes may be disgusting and hard to watch. However, it is another element of making viewers feel they are more in the movie.
I know DiCaprio went through other hard elements with making a variety of his movies. However, that is off topic, and I want to get into a good conclusion of why “The Revenant” is so stunning as a movie and a work-of-art sensation.
Throughout the beginning, middle, and end, there are frequent moments of close-ups of old-fashioned weaponry. Weaponry, which involves bow, arrows, spears, axes, and guns that can only shoot well with gunpowder. The lack of resources makes viewers curious of how the characters can or will survive if they get hurt. That is because there is not much to treat the injured in this time frame. It is a film where we wonder how injuries can go given the lack of first-aid.
Overall, “The Revenant” is by far one of the best movies of 2015. I believe I will watch this movie a second time when it gets its nationwide release on January 5th. I do not think it is necessarily better than “Birdman” but it is something different among different filming elements. An intense, moving, and a truthful movie that is faithful to its time period.