Gritty, grisly and gripping are the applicable adjectives for Writer/Director Alejandro Gonzάlez Iñάrittu’s survival story The Revenant.
The film is based on the real-life trials of 1820s frontiersman and trapper Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), who was mauled by a bear and, then, purposely left for dead by fellow trapper (Tom Hardy), who, also, killed his son (Forrest Goodluck).
Left without food or weapons and his body wracked with wounds, Glass is forced to undergo incredible torments and dangers by men, beasts, weather and terrain to get back to some semblance of civilization. But, even then, the battle is not over.
Though not for the faint-hearted, this film is a triumph of the human spirit.
Don’t be intimidated by the over 2 ½ hour length. Iñάrittu’s genius is exemplified by his use of award-winning Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s sublime images and Composers Bryce Dessner’s, Carsten Nicolai’s and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s fabulous music to keep the action flowing.
And, it’s DiCaprio’s talent that makes this otherwise prosaic piece of history meaningful.
The point is that any lessening of the length would have robbed the story of its powerful feeling for Glass’s desperation.
I give The Revenant a 4.4 out of 5.