The Revenant (15)

The Revenant tells the story of legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass, a man who survived against all odds in order to avenge his son’s death.

While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1820’s South Dakota, famous frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains some horrific injuries following a brutal bear attack.

Rather than tending to their guide’s wounds, his traitorous companions, led by maniacal John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), decide to abandon him. But not before they kill his half-Native American son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), and leave Glass to die in a shallow grave.

Two choices stand before him, give up and perish in the freezing conditions, or fight back and live. If the experienced frontiersman chooses the latter then he must utilize all of the survival skills that he’s learnt over the years to make his way home.

Despite everything that stands against him Glass survives. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance the father must brave warring tribes, a savage environment and a ferociously harsh winter on a 120-mile trek to track down Fitzgerald and find redemption.. His quest for survival will take him to the brink of death.

Through cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s amazing footage we find ourselves dragged through the wilderness, violent ambushes and life-threatening confrontations. The Revenant is an extremely visceral movie full of lengthy takes with no clear edits. We’re invited along for the ride and then thrown right into the thick of it. The camera follows on foot, horseback, through the woods, air and water.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy deliver outstanding performances in this enthralling revenge western. Having previously been Oscar-nominated for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street, surely it must be DiCaprio’s turn to win? He may be in with a chance this time as his performance relies more upon physicality than the spoken word.

The Revenant is a raw and gritty adaptation of the extraordinary true story of betrayal, survival and redemption.

By Ruth Walker
★★★★☆

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