With his first three feature films, Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel, Alejandro González Iñárritu knew better than anyone describe the first decade of this millennium. His approach, eminently contemporary nature then found a different form in Biutiful, then in gold Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Oscar winner for Best Picture.
This time, the Mexican-American filmmaker completely changed register by offering a realistic Western, as brutal as spectacular. The Revenant is undoubtedly one of the most intense cinematic experiences ever produced.
In 1823, the North American territory is visited by American and French trappers, who organized a fur trade in defiance of various Native American tribes who live there. Attacked by one of them, the US group, led by General Ashley, flees with Hugh Glass, a particularly gifted trapper for survival, who paces the woods for a long time with his son born of a union with Aboriginal. But Glass was brutally attacked by a bear and his injuries are such that the
Alejandro González Iñárritu takes the viewer by fully immersing in the story it tells, leaving him no respite. We dive into the horror and almost from the start, without any contextualization. This is also on the narrative level the rub a little. If you happen to virgin projection of any information on what he is about to see, the viewer will struggle to find his bearings as to the issues, the motivations of the characters, the time and place where the narrative is camped.
Freely adapted from a novel by Michael Punke, published in 2002, The Revenant describes the survival story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a trapper who really existed. We are in 1823. From the start, the expedition which involved Glass Wyoming Arikaras is attacked by Indians.
The assault is so fierce you could almost see it, in terms of realism, a variation of the famous Normandy landing scene in Saving Private Ryan. In short, it’s a slaughter.
Glass, father of a son whose mother is Indian, still survives the attack. Rest is yet short for him. Just refuge in the forest, the man was then spotted by a bear. This sequence, which unnecessarily caused much ink, also freezes the blood as it is truth footprint. Seriously wounded, left for dead, Glass nevertheless rescued by order of Major Henry (Domnhall Gleeson), in particular, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Yet these two men have scores to settle …
Flanked of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who used only natural light, Iñárritu in eyeful. Its achievement is nothing short of awe inspiring. At a point where we come to wonder whether this obvious virtuosity sometimes do not lend flank a little swagger. Especially since the story, punctuated by scenes of extreme violence (Notice to sensitive hearts!), Stretches a little.
Despite these reservations, altogether minor, The Revenant remains a very powerful work. The bias has borrowed the filmmaker could not be more efficient. In this regard, the actors are in tune. In the skin of a character who relies on his instinct, Leonardo DiCaprio goes one step further by offering a visceral game, devoid of artifice, in which it invests completely. The composition of the actor is as grand as the realization of Alejandro González Iñárritu. Which is saying something.