Sound Off: Alejandro G. Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' - Your Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
January 8, 2016
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "As long as you can still grab a breath, you fight. You breathe…" Now playing in theaters nationwide is the action survival thriller The Revenant, the follow-up feature from Best Director winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (who also won Best Picture with Birdman last year). Based on a true story, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, a frontiersman left for dead after a vicious bear attack. He manages to stay alive and seek revenge on the man who betrayed him. Also starring Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter and Forrest Goodluck. So how is it? Too pretentious, or sublime? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your own thoughts on Iñárritu's The Revenant.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!
To fuel the campfire, I am a big fan of The Revenant, one of my top films of the year. I had to go back and watch it twice in a row, back-to-back in two days, the first time I went to see it because it's such a visceral and powerful experience. Yes, the themes are surface level and there's only so much to it, but I don't mind. It's really just a sad story about how worthless revenge is in the end, I get it, but I still enjoy following along. He goes through all of that crazy shit to survive, chases him all over the place, and yet doesn't gain anything from it. It's a brutal and beautiful film that will make you respect nature. I adore the cinematography by Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki; absolutely stunning, every shot was breathtaking. I never got tired of it either.
Despite all of the criticisms I've heard from colleagues, I still love the film in all its grandeur. One of the best reviews was by Awards Daily's Sasha Stone, who wrote: "The Revenant is about the ghosts of the past, and a harbinger of things to come. It’s about our past, our present and our future. It is also about filmmaking… Far surpassing Birdman in every aspect, The Revenant was a risk worth taking, a film worth making, and one of the most beautiful and breathtakingly rendered works cinematic art of the year." I agree. I don't mind that it may honestly be better filmmaking than storytelling, it's still an exhilarating and grueling cinematic experience. Even though it's an experience that always leaves audiences exhausted, not always for the best.
What did you think of Alejandro Iñárritu's The Revenant? Brilliant, or overindulgent mess?
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