7:30 PM, 4th March, 2016
Based on the incredible true story of survival, The Revenant features Leonardo DiCaprio as frontiersman Hugh Glass, an explorer in 1823 who survives a grizzly bear attack, only to have his companions abandon him for dead. Hampered by his injuries, but propelled by the instinct to survive, Glass makes his way back to civilisation – one limping crawl at a time.
The title stems from an old French noun; one that has come back from the dead to haunt the living. Thus, the film takes on the classic form of a revenge-western. We see Glass’s struggle to survive play out in brutal fashion, and we’re on side for him to track down the men that wronged him. But The Revenant is no mere genre flick – it stands out on account of the truly masterful execution of the piece.
The world of The Revenant is a harsh but beautiful one, and it is presented in carefully crafted shots that take advantage of modern camera techniques and capabilities. This is period cinema as you’ve never seen it before. The camera is sweeping, yet tightly focused. It moves fluidly through scenes of intense chaotic action, and provides a sense of epic scope while keeping us close to our main character. The makeup, costuming, location shooting and visual effects all fuse together with the magnificent camerawork, as well as a superb performance from DiCaprio, to create one of the best cinematic experiences of the entire year.