The Revenant. 2015. USA. Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. 156 min.
Based partly on Michael Punke’s The Revenant, a novel inspired by real incidents in the early 1800s, the new film by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Amores Perros) tells the tale of one man’s fight for life under the most menacing conditions. Leonardo DiCaprio, in the most physically challenging role of his career, plays Huge Glass, a frontiersman violently mauled by a bear during a hunting expedition. Left for dead by his companions, he fights against all odds to survive—and seek revenge. Shot in natural light by Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, The Tree of Life), the film presents sweeping panoramas of a frigid, desolate landscape juxtaposed with stunningly detailed close-ups of an abandoned man clinging to life. An absorbing soundscape accentuates each breath and moan, and captures the intricate sounds of nature. The picture attains an unexpected spiritual clarity as we are immersed in the sensory experience of one man’s wrestle with death. Courtesy of Twentieth-Century Fox.