By Adam Guy
Director:Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhall Gleeson
At the end of last year a slightly confused film reviewer tweeted that Leonardo DiCaprio gets raped twice by a bear in the then not yet released movie The Revenant. With bear rape being the hot button topic that it is, one man’s oppressed fantasy quickly turned into a newsworthy story. Which then in turn led the films studio FOX to feel the need to release a formal statement denying the inclusion of a scene where Mr DiCaprio is forced to have non complicit sexual relations with a female bear. Having now seen the film, Clunk Magazine can confirm that there are in fact no scenes containing acts of bestiality in The Revenant. But it is still a good film though.
Based on a novel by Michael Punke, which itself is loosely based on the life of a real man named Hugh Glass. The Revenant is for the most part essentially a revenge film set in the hostile frontiers of the American wilderness in the 1820’s. With a large portion of the screen time taken up watching the main character try really hard not to die, the pacing and cinematography have a big impact on how enjoyable the experience is. This is undoubtedly the film’s strong point. The cold neutral colours and long complex shots give The Revenant a strong, distinctive atmosphere and director Alejandro González Iñárritu really manages to drive home how bleak and inhospitable the environment must have been at that time. Glass’ ability to survive at times verges on the ridiculous, which is likely to annoy some who watch the film a lot more than others. But with that Leo’s commitment to the role is definitely worth one more Oscar nomination, especially as some of the more extreme scenes would have most likely been horrifically unpleasant to film.
The dialogue is sparse and understated, giving every line a sense of purpose. Tom Hardy is at his unhinged and mumbling best and Domhall Gleeson adds a surprising level of depth to a morally upright character that could have been much harder to relate to. At just over two and a half hours it’s not a short film. And with its brutal, violent and uncompromising tone you’ll likely be left feeling a little drained yourself. But it seems like that’s kind of the point, and it’s that sense of commitment which makes The Revenant rise above most standard Hollywood offerings to become something worthy of attention.