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The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a fur trapper, who is severely attacked by a grizzly and is almost dead. A greedy trapper, John Fitzgerald, played by Tom Hardy, kills Hugh’s son, buries Hugh alive, and disappears. The movie is about Hugh’s story and his revenge against John. There are many things to like about the movie. The cinematography is stunning – the movie was filmed in Canada and Argentina in short daylight conditions, so the natural muted lighting creates a pretty mesmerizing effect. The story is inspired by true events, making what we see truly remarkable. For me, the movie as a whole did not work too well. The story itself did not feel integrated into the cinematography; we would be into the story, and there would be yet another cutaway to a beautiful scenery shot – this happened so often that it felt, in the words of my friend with whom I watched it, self-indulgent. For some reason I am rarely convinced by DiCaprio as an actor – here, I never felt he was absorbed into his character (although the acting was good). And the movie felt too long at almost 3 hours. I did appreciate the technical and visual aspects of the cinematography, and I thought Tom Hardy, who was almost unrecognizable, was absolutely brilliant in his role. For me, his was the standout performance. So, I give it a thumbs up, but a weak one, for a film that I thought could have been much better. Definitely plan to see this one on the big screen if you are interested; I don’t think the cinematography will feel the same on a download. (2015; 3 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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