THE REVENANT – REVIEW: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow up to Birdman, The Revenant is an inspiring tale of survival ruined by blatant product placement.
Drowned on the Titanic, jailed for embezzlement, lobotomized on an island, beaten by Jack Nicholson, betrayed, basketball diaried, tricked into suicide by his girlfriend and a priest, Leonardo diCaprio has to be one of the unluckiest men alive. In The Revenant he’s torn to pieces by a bear and frozen by a hard winter, attacked by Indians, half drowned in a river and dropped from cliffs. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Tom Hardy offs his son and leaves him for dead. It’s almost as if Iñárritu is putting DiCaprio through some sort of Oscar endurance test. But it’s well worth the journey and diCaprio is magnificent along with Hardy.
With Terrence Malick’s cinematographer Emanuel Lubezki and set desginer Jack Fisk, there’s a fair bit of the Malickian here, but Iñárritu is more interested in nature red in tooth and claw. Immersed in the elemental extremes of fire, water, frost and violence, The Revenant drags the audience through an unforgiving wilderness. A history of massacres looms in the background and cold freezes throughout the film. There’s also a bit Tarkovsky with visions of floating women and sopping landscapes forgotten by an absentee God. Occasionally, the story veers too far into the extreme with logic and credibility be damned, a precipice too far if you will. But I’ll be gored by a bear and buggered by it too, if you can find a more fascinating and visually sumptuous depiction of why we have dentistry and central heating.
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