Watching Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s The Revenant was a harrowing yet inspirational experience. After the multiple Academy Awards winning Birdman, the Mexican director brings Leo and still-rising Hardy together on the big screen again (after Inception) for this inspired-by-true-events poetic Western.
Interestingly enough, Samuel L. Jackson and Christian Bale were both supposed to star, which would have been fine since the producers decided to keep Tom Hanks at a distance (survivor or no). The Book of Job theme is remarkably entwined with a bizarre but sturdy Revenge plot. Moreover, the revenant’s crawling-all-over-the-place and his Bear Grylls impersonation are a gruesome reminder that you’re witnessing an American odyssey. All of it – topped by Emmanuel Lubezki extraordinary work as the Director of Photography (Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow; The Coen Brother’s Burn after Reading – to name just a hefty few of his past achievements as a cinematographer).
DiCaprio is brutally manhandled by a bear. Brought back to life from his spiritual death (his son and spouse are relentlessly murdered), Hugh Glass spends a night in a horse’s dead womb-like carcass, right after being herb-hazed in a dream filled shamanic journey. All for (interracial) love. Winter in the mountains will never look the same again.