Reviewing “The Revenant”

Graham Reblitz, Staff Writer

After weeks and weeks of anticipation, as well as rumors regarding a strenuous filming process, “The Revenant” hit theaters January 8th. From the moment I saw the film’s first commercial on T.V. I knew this was a must watch. Days after its release, I headed to the theater to check it out.

For the next two hours and thirty-six minutes, I anxiously sat on the edge of my seat as main character Hugh Glass trekked through roughly 200 miles of frigid wilderness to seek revenge on a man who has killed his son. First and foremost, the setting of this movie is nothing short of astounding. Filming took place in both Canada and Patagonia in South America, and director Alejandro Iñárritu was adamant that the entire piece be shot with only natural light. While this caused some controversy (an assistant director walked off set), the gamble pays off and then some. The wilderness is arguably the real main character in this movie as it provides an ever-present, relentless background that highlights the power of nature over mankind. Just after Glass escapes a potentially life-threatening situation, another one quickly presents itself, creating the steady state of enjoyable anxiety throughout.

Of course, the biggest reason for all the hype surrounding this film’s release is Leonardo DiCaprio. Before watching “The Revenant” I had heard he has an excellent performance, but I had no idea that he would make such an impact on the viewers. In the fabled bear mauling scene early in the movie, DiCaprio’s character gets his throat slashed, therefore making it nearly impossible for him to speak audibly for the duration of the film. Having said this, he didn’t need to talk because his physical displays of pain and agony as well as sheer determination and human will add to the heightened sense of rugged realism in the picture. Throw in a series of highly spiritual flashbacks and one of my all-time favorite antagonists played by Tom Hardy and you have an excellent movie. My rating: 9 out of 10.