By Will Tarashuk
Leonardo DiCaprio must really want that Oscar. He was the star of “The Revenant” and he did some things I have never seen an actor do. The plot follows Hugh Glass, an 1820s pioneer who is mauled by a bear and left for dead by his own men. Somehow he survived and now he is on a quest for revenge. Before he can get his revenge, he has to survive in the wild.
This is literally the greatest episode of “Man vs Wild” I have ever seen. The way this filmed is shot is remarkable. The director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, used a lot of long shots and used natural lighting to make his film.
Filming took place in northern Canada and it is absolutely beautiful. The landscape and setting of the film looks real and when we see Glass freezing we freeze with him. The visuals and cinematography in this film make it real and take the audience in the wilderness with Glass. The idea to use natural lighting is a risky one but it works and he pulls it off. The shots of a river flowing or snow falling and watching DiCaprio struggle through the elements adds so much more to the film.
Now let’s talk ab out what everyone wants to hear, and that is Leonardo DiCaprio. He committed to this role like no other in his career. He pushed himself beyond the limits by actually living in the wild while filming. After the bear attack he cannot walk so after a while he is literally crawling through the snow. He is eating bone marrow or sleeping inside a carcass to stay warm. Will he get nominated for an Oscar? I would be shocked if he didn’t. Will he win? Well, I’m not sure. While he was amazing I thought he had better performances in his career.
I do have to give DiCaprio a lot of credit in his work. He has very few lines in this movie. After he gets attacked by the bear his body is beaten battered and broken and he cannot talk. He has to use his facial expressions and noises to get the emotion across and he does. There is one scene where he cannot move or call for help. His face turns red and his eyes tell the entire story. His expressions and bodily reactions tell the entire story of the film because the emotion he shows without any words is highly impressive.
The attack scene with the bear is hard to watch. The bear looks amazing and it looks real. It is almost as if the filmmakers got a trained bear and actually beat up Leonardo DiCaprio. Obviously that didn’t happen but that is how real the scene looked, and again, it was all one shot. The noises the bear made and DiCaprio made during his fight were chilling. I was also not one singular attack. It was an attack in waves and just when you thought it was over, it kept coming back for more.
Tom Hardy was also in this film and he was outstanding as well. He plays the man who leaves Glass for dead after the accident. He is the clear antagonist and he is a vile and greedy human being. Hardy knocks it out of the park once again and proves why he is one of the best actors in the industry today. I will say his accent was a little too much and he was hard to understand at times. I’m sure his lines were great I just couldn’t make out what he was saying.
Overall, this is not a film about revenge like “Django Unchained“. There is no massive shootout with an extreme action scene with a lot of death and blood. This is not really a movie, it is a film. What I mean by that is that it is very artistic. This is a film for people who live film and how films are made. It is a film about surviving the elements and struggling through a real situation. DiCaprio is amazing, Hardy is amazing, and the direction and cinematography is amazing. The film itself is amazing. It gets the Will Tarashuk highly recommended award and a must see for any fan of movies and film in general
Image by Maximusfilm (http://www.maximusfilm.sk/)