Movie Review: The Revenant - Hulu Magazine
The Revenant movie review

Movie Review: The Revenant

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Unremitting – The Revenant – Starring DiCaprio and Tom Hardy

The Revenant is an unforgiving tale of survival and vengeance. It’s also a meditative tone poem about the ones we love and have vowed to protect. Coming on the heels of his award winning movie, The Birdman, Alejandro González’s The Revenant is another impressive and technically spellbinding drama.

Iñárritu’s new movie put Leonardo DiCaprio up against nature, bears and of course Tom Hardy, in a tale of vengeance and primal violence.


Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant

Will to survive … Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass in The Revenant. Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox


Leonardo takes on a bear in the movie. And the bear wins. Or does it? The early reports of new western thriller The Revenant by Alejandro González Iñárritu focus on one quite extraordinary scene. Hugh Glass – played by Leonardo DiCaprio – was a 19th century fur-trapper and frontiersman. He encounters with a couple of bear cubs in a dense and quiet forest. Suddenly, he hears the wheezing and snuffly-wet sound of parent bear behind him. A full grown bear who has gained the correct impression Glass’s intentions. This is where the story begins. Whatever happens next, lays the base of whole movie. Glass’s fight with the bear is one of the horrifyingly primal violence scene. Brilliantly conceived by CGI-reality cluster.

This immersion and immediacy of the scene will remind you of the moment in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World when moviegoers go to ‘feelies’ and watch a sex scene on a rug made of bearskin. They felt every bear-hair on that rug. So will you! You will feel bear’s breaths, every droplet of bear spittle, grinding his teeth and you will understand what it feels like when a bear beats your body like a drum. You will understand what it feels like when a bear scratches your body with his long and sharp nails. You will understand what it feels like when part of your throat is slit and part of your rub cage is exposed to fresh air and light rain.

Some other civilian privateers are engaged in a US military expedition. This expedition is led by Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) along the Missouri River to establish a lucrative fur-trapping base. Glass joins them. Glass and others are set upon by the red Indians in a terrifying scene. The scene shows that a sibilant arrow silenced the warning cries by hitting in the throat. Glass is an experienced guide and tracker. He guides the terrified survivors away from the warriors. This is where differences between John Fitzgerald – played by Tom Hardy – and Glass takes place over a boat. Glass wanted to leave the boat whereas Fitzgerald thought it would be a bad idea. However captain favors Glass because of his experience. This is the place where Glass gets mauled by the bear. Two men are paid extra money to look after Glass. Fitzgerald and Jim Bridgar – played by Will Poulter. Fitzgerald promised captain that he will make sure Glass gets a proper burial. However, once Glass is left alone with Fitzgerald, he tries to kill him. But fails, as Glass’s son sees him and stop Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald tries to bury Glass alive but upon his failure he leaves Glass in pain and agony. Fitzgerald then returns to base to collect his extra pay.


Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald in The Revenant

Pop-eyed malevolence. Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald – The Revenant. Photograph: AP/20th Century Fox


Iñárritu and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki expose you to the elements unlike other immersive movies which enclose, put you inside and then dunk down deep into what it’s supposed to feel like. They will throw you under an endless and pitiless dark sky. The images of the movie are crystalline beauty: breath taking landscapes and excellently wrought close-ups. Such as the green leaves in bulbous freezinf mounds and a small crescent moon. In the movie, there is also something hallucinatory and unwholesome about these images. The hunger and pain tormented Glass with visions. He tries to shoot a distant moose with a tree branch, thinking of it as a rifle. Also, sometimes he comes across a vast plain, full of bison. He sees a ruined church as well.

The Revenant, to some extent, recalls The Searchers. It modifies the themes of tribal and sexual transgression and cruel invocation of scalping. The warriors that attack at the beginning of the movie are enraged at the kidnapping of daughter of their head, Powaga – played by Melaw Nakehk’o. Sometimes, Iñárritu, seems to be inspired by Herzog’s Aguirre, Wrath of God, with the visions and greed and river flow. With the wintery frontier terrain and Glass’s dreams about of his wife, there is arguably something related to Altman.
Fluency and unitary, these two things make Iñárritu’s The Renevant so distinctive. Not dissimilar to his previous movie, Birdman, the movie is still thrilling and painful as ice on the skin.

The Revenant (2015) – Verdict:

Iñárritu’s The Revenant is a beautiful and stunning movie. It’s a real treat and a gift for DiCaprio’s fans. The breath taking scenes on big screen will leave you mesmerized. Its a must watch movie.


  • The Revenant is all set to release in the US on 25th December, in Australia on 7th January and in the UK on 15th January

This post was written as a part of a series for

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