Roger Wolfson’s Not Wrong, The Revenant is A Great
For years and years movie lovers pondered when Leonardo DiCaprio was going to win the award that always seemed to evade him, an Oscar. A few years ago that moment finally came for his involvement in The Revenant. At the time I can remember the brilliant writer Roger Wolfson calling the Revenant one of cinema’s all time greats, which I think actually put me off watching it, too much expectation. Following Leo’s Oscar win for the movie however, I went and checked it out, and I was not disappointed.
Within the first few seconds of the movie starting there was a tense atmosphere, this peaked my interest straight away. Putting that together with the quality of camerawork, it was immediately off to a good start. The visuals is mostly one panning camera with very little cutting, this works amazingly as at the first attack it puts you directly in the situation. It’s frantic, panic inducing, you don’t know where to look or where things are going or coming from.
As the story unfolds the next scene that needs mentioning is the bear attack scene, this is where DiCaprio is at his best. His performance was harrowing and the sheer anguish and pain displayed in DiCaprio’s facials are breath taking. There is a great shot in this scene where the bear is standing over DiCaprio’s head and its breath slightly mists the screen. After that I was expecting the inevitable and for DiCaprio’s character to shoot the bear but the attack continues, really gripping stuff. It really is acting at its finest, there was no dialogue but I felt every emotion ranging from fear, panic and pain.
As the story continues it really starts to make sense why DiCaprio won an Oscar for this role, he really is fantastic in this movie. After the bear attack he doesn’t speak a word for a long time, there are a few murmurs here and there but again his facial expressions say a lot more than any line could. You feel every moment of the character’s struggle, every pain, and every part of his exhaustion. It’s almost hard to watch but his effort and agonising performance is amazing. You really care about the misfortune and mistreatment of this character. Alongside DiCaprio is Tom Hardy and he also deserves a lot of credit with making this film work, rightly so DiCaprio gets the plaudits but Hardy’s performance compliments him perfectly.
This movie is a story of survival, heartbreak, betrayal, redemption and desperation. It really is a tense emotional rollercoaster. Subtle things throughout help achieve this, the minimalistic score works perfectly with every moment. This mixed in with the wildlife/woodland sounds gives it a raw feel and the occasional drumbeat intensifies the feel throughout.
To conclude, this film is lengthy but completely worth it, if you are looking for constant action I don’t think it is for you. However if you are looking for fantastic performances and filmmaking brilliance look no further. If you enjoy the art of filmmaking this is a must see, everyone involved needs to take a bow.