Monday, January 11, 2016

The Revenant (2015)

Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “The Revenant” is grueling, beautiful, and blood-soaked ugly. It is the tale of survival and revenge with Leonardo DiCaprio as famed tracker Hugh Glass, returning from near-death to find those who abandoned him for dead after a bear attack in 1820s America. My gut instinct: “Revenant” is far too long and far too a “Look at Me!” performance by DiCaprio with his artist/director as cheerleader. But laying in bed hours later I clicked on “Revenant” as far more than the straight flick of one angry man killing another that I expected. Wanted. It’s a spiritual war of man, nature, and an America I’ll never know. Inarritu uses dreams and hallucinations within dreams, tied to shaky reality. None more stunning than a ruined stone church, images of Christ barely intact, that may or may not exist. Glass is a haunted man, and Tom Hardy as Fitzgerald -- the man who leaves Glass for dead, and kills the latter’s Pawnee son -– is also that. Glass says he “ain’t afraid to die,” he’s done it already, but so has Fitzgerald. It’s damn long and peculiar, but “Revenant” is a brutal, exhilarating tale of base nature, man and animal. B+

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