Ridicu­lous Revenant

CityPress - - Trending - Leonardo DiCaprio sleeps in a horse car­cass, eats raw bi­son liver and crawls through snow in sub­zero tem­per­a­tures, but is this enough to fi­nally win an Os­car, won­ders

Di­rec­tor Ale­jan­dro González Iñár­ritu has scooped the Os­cars be­fore, but is his lat­est epic, The Revenant, wor­thy of the hype? Movie: The Revenant Di­rec­tor: Ale­jan­dro González Iñár­ritu Fea­tur­ing: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy

Even be­fore its re­lease, ru­mours were fly­ing thick and fast about lauded di­rec­tor Ale­jan­dro González Iñár­ritu’s new film star­ring five-time Os­car nom­i­nee Leonardo DiCaprio. They ranged from the sur­pris­ing (that Leo slept in an an­i­mal car­cass) to the down­right in­sane (that Leo – and I twitch while typ­ing this – was raped by a bear).

The first is true. The ac­tor did sleep in sev­eral an­i­mal car­casses. The se­cond is one of those ridicu­lous myths bred on the in­ter­net that spread like wild­fire.

Then there was the ques­tion ev­ery­one wanted to know: Would Leo fi­nally get the Os­car? His lack of a golden stat­uette (and the lengths he will go to in or­der to get one) is such a hot topic that it’s pretty much a meme now, with pres­i­dents and pun­dits weigh­ing in on this Im­por­tant Life Ques­tion.

It was per­haps a com­bi­na­tion of th­ese ru­mours, titbits and the Os­car ques­tion that led to the film top­pling Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens (the high­est-gross­ing film in US his­tory) in its open­ing week. Is The Revenant wor­thy of the hype? Well, it’s based on the true story of Hugh Glass, an 1800s Amer­i­can fron­tiers­man bent on pay­back af­ter his com­rades left him for dead when he was at­tacked by a bear.

Glass is an in­fin­itely in­ter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal char­ac­ter, but this doesn’t el­e­vate the plot to any­thing more than a re­venge story.

Is DiCaprio good in it? For sure, and you can’t doubt the guy’s com­mit­ment to the role. But there are times when Leo’s re­lent­less slog and near-death mo­ments be­come so re­lent­less I al­most rolled my eyes out of my head. Yes, in real life, Glass did sur­vive the bear at­tack. But did he (spoiler alert) re­ally sur­vive be­ing flung down rapids and fall­ing off a cliff? Did he re­ally save a kid­napped Arikara princess and es­cape Na­tive Amer­i­cans? It was like watch­ing Die Hard, ex­cept more pre­ten­tious. I might still carry a resid­ual an­noy­ance to­wards Iñár­ritu, I must con­cede, af­ter his pre­vi­ous work, the Os­car­win­ning and oh-so-pre­cious Bird­man.

But don’t take my word for it. Au­di­ences are bound to find some­thing in The Revenant that in­ter­ests them: the mag­nif­i­cent vista shots of snow-capped land­scapes are breath­tak­ing and I ap­pre­ci­ated the crit­i­cal por­trayal of Amer­i­can pi­o­neers’ mis­treat­ment of the coun­try’s in­dige­nous in­hab­i­tants.

While The Revenant isn’t a mas­ter­piece, in my opin­ion, it’s an in­ter­est­ing ad­ven­ture film bent on show­ing you the mean­ing of hu­man re­silience. And yes, Leo is bound to get the Os­car for this one. He sure as hell had bet­ter – be­fore he kills him­self try­ing.


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