Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Revenge drama has plenty of life in it

FEW films this year will be as gritty, immersive or as visceral as The Revenant.

FEW films this year will be as gritty, immersive or as visceral as The Revenant.

Alejandro G Inárritu’s near three-hour epic was shot over six months in the remote Canadian wilderness using only natural light.

With such a lengthy run time and, on the face of it, a fairly straightforward narrative, the director will need to work hard to ensure audiences stick with his film.

And here lies Inárritu’s ace in the hole — in the form of the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio, who takes centre stage as legendary explorer Hugh Glass.

Tom Hardy also takes a central role, but one thing is clear — this is DiCaprio’s film. An actor so talented that certainly in years to come, if not already, he will be regarded as one of the finest of our generation.

Inspired by true events, The Revenant captures one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit.

In an expedition through the uncharted American wilderness, Glass, a 19th century fur trapper, is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

In a quest to survive, he endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy).

When he survives against all odds, he sets out on a treacherous journey to exact revenge on his betrayers in this captivating and inspiring story based on the Michael Punke novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge.

Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless drive to live and find redemption.

Inárritu has already tasted Oscar glory for last year’s Birdman, which won best picture, and will be hoping for a repeat this time around.

After the excesses of The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio has taken an entirely different turn in this stripped back, existential film, but will undoubtedly be as watchable as ever.

Two weeks ago, I predicted that Eddie Redmayne was a safe bet for taking the best actor Oscar next month for his performance in The Danish Girl.

But I’m never afraid to admit I was wrong and the smart money is now firmly on DiCaprio.

The Revenant is now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse.

Review: David White

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