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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | October 22, 2021

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What you need to know about The Revenant

What you need to know about The Revenant

| On 15, Jan 2016

DiCaprio’s furry face will confound you.

As the annual sport of Academy Award predictions swings into season, many are left bewildered by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’. The director won three oscars for his last effort and is now teamed up with the only superstar without an Oscar, Leonardo DiCaprio. A betting man would surely give this film good odds on knocking out all of the major awards categories. However, many who have seen it are not so sure.

‘The Revenant’ sees gruff mountain man Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) mauled by a bear and left for dead by John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) in an unkind wintery wilderness, miles from help. Glass struggles back to health, and crawls to civilisation in search of revenge. ‘The Revenant’ fittingly managed to advertise itself, though it’s famously plagued production spanned three different countries over the course of nine months and achieved a budget that blew 75 Million dollars out of control.

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The best part of this film is the first ten minutes, which is about as surprising and nail-biting as the film gets. After that, everything is predictable and the pace slows to a dawdle. However, I would never in a million years say that ‘The Revenant’ is a bad film. Everything is absolutely top drawer, first rate film making and nothing to complain about. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy are acting juggernauts. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s direction has, somehow, improved since ‘Birdman’ (2014). This film has solidified his place in the pantheon of great cinematographers. What holds ‘The Revenant’ back, however, is it’s faithfulness to history. A glance at the wikipedia biography of the real Hugh Glass tells you every plot point in the film (so don’t read the wiki page if you want to enjoy the film). One could even infer what happens from the plot synopsis alone. This is because everything that happens in the film makes sense, it happened in reality. There was nothing creative about the story, nothing that I couldn’t imagine would happen in that situation, which made for a dull storyline.

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On the one hand ‘The Revenant’ succeeds at everything and on the other it fails. The best way to watch the film is to be completely oblivious to the story before you walk in but know every little detail about the production. So, in an effort to make your experience just a little bit better, remember these things during the screening:

  1. ‘The Revenant’ uses entirely natural lighting.
  2. Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio is actually eating that.
  3. Tom Hardy tried his hand at directing
  4. Half way through the film, the location changes from North America to Argentina.
  5. Yes, Leonardo DiCaprio is actually sleeping in that.

The Revenant had it’s Australian release on the 7th of January. 

Image Credits: New Regency Pictures, Anonymous Content, Appian Way, RatPac Entertainment, Soho VFX