sat 13/07/2024

DVD: The Revenant | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: The Revenant

DVD: The Revenant

Still epic: Leonardo Di Caprio is pursued by a bear on a smaller screen

The chills are multiplying for Leonardo Di Caprio in 'The Revenant'

The Revenant is released as a home entertainment garlanded in fewer Oscar laurels than it might have been. Its impact as a pure cinematic experience is far greater than this year’s best picture Spotlight. Hence awards for director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. The paucity of dialogue means that few best actor winners can have had as little to say as Leonardo DiCaprio.

He plays Hugh Glass, a tracker and guide abandoned by the party in his charge when he is mauled by bear and presumed next to dead. Spurred by the ghost of his Native American wife, slaughtered in a pogrom of ethnic cleansing, he is kept alive by a burning desire to avenge the murder of their son by Tom Hardy’s ne’er-do-well fur trader.

The ensuing odyssey across the frozen plains of the Midwest is an epic spectacle in which your pleasure borders on sadism as DiCaprio hurls himself into every discomfort the script can hurl at him. There's an unusually high quota of marrow-chilling violence even when no one else is on screen. He gurns and groans, howls and hollers, and along the way speaks just as much Native American as English. 

The bigger your home screen, the better. There are no extras, probably because the shoot was so gruelling there was simply no time to get anything in the can. For more on the making of the film, best read theartsdesk’s Q&A with The Revenant’s production designer Jack Fisk. Access to a remote at least supplies the opportunity to watch and watch again the astonishing sequence in which Di Caprio comes face to face with a mama grizzly. If you’ve ever wondered what the stage direction “exit, pursued by a bear” would look like with access to the best that CGI can do, go straight to chapter five.

Overleaf: watch the trailer to The Revenant

@JasperRees

 

There's a high quota of marrow-chilling violence even when no one else is on screen

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Editor Rating: 
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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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