‘THE REVENANT’

Alex Lasher

Leonardo DiCaprio is widely considered one of the great actors of our generation. With utter devotion to his roles, DiCaprio never fails to be the bright spot of every film he stars in and happens to be the favorite actor of this reviewer.re-revenanttease

His portrayal of real-life frontiersman Hugh Glass in “The Revenant” looked like it might finally be able to deliver DiCaprio the Oscar gold that has long avoided his grasp.

Although he delivered a brilliant performance, it wasn’t DiCaprio who left the most lasting impression but his good friend, and another favorite of mine, Tom Hardy.

Don’t get me wrong, DiCaprio’s performance was nothing short of the excellence we have come to expect from him over the years. With adept facial expressions and very limited dialogue, DiCaprio is able to portray the pain of a man who has lost everything and is an inch from death.

The scene in which he literally pulls himself out of his own grave is some of the finest work of DiCaprio’s career. However, Tom Hardy’s work as Glass’s adversary John Fitzgerald was the truly memorable performance of the film.

Hardy has starred in some huge films, playing Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises” and starring as the titular character in last summer’s fantastic blockbuster “Mad Max: Fury Road,” but some his best acting performances have gone largely unnoticed.

Hardy is impossible to overlook in “The Revenant.” Hardy is able to inject some of his own charisma into a character we should absolutely detest for leaving Glass to die.

At times he almost makes us feel sympathetic for his character; you can see why he makes his decisions, and the man does whatever he feels he needs to do. You won’t find yourself rooting for Fitzgerald (Glass’s legendary determination is impossible to root against), but he is the most intriguing character in the film, thanks to Hardy’s performance.

“The Revenant” has so much more going for it than just fantastic acting. The score composed by legendary Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, is powerful and helps drive home the unsaid emotions of the film. The main theme hits its peaks during some of Glass’s more powerful struggles in the wild.

The film also has truly gorgeous cinematography. Shot in the Canadian wilderness and parts of the southern tip of Argentina, the film instantly immerses you in its sceneries and locations.

From flooded woods to snowy mountaintops to wide open plains, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu makes sure you feel the scope of Glass’s journey from shot to shot.

However, this is more than just a pretty nature film; it’s a grisly, harrowing look at what DiCaprio’s character went through to avenge his son.

The film holds nothing back in terms of realism and is gruesome throughout. From the terrifying and bloody Native American attack in the opening minutes, the film never slows. The hardest part to watch is, without a doubt, the bear attack that Hugh Glass somehow lives through; the scene is so brutal, so gut wrenching you forget you are in a theater. That is the mark of a truly great film; you don’t just simply watch it, you feel it.

Having already cleaned up at the Golden Globes, “The Revenant” is expected to be a force at the Oscars next month, receiving an eye popping 12 nominations including Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture.

With incredible acting, a powerful score, beautiful cinematography and a gripping story, “The Revenant” is a film you can’t miss.