Here’S Why The Revenant Doesn’T Deserve All The Hype

Art & Culture

First of all I have to warn you, if you decide to go and watch The Revenant make sure you have what feels like about 12 hours at your disposal. The film's picked up a lot of interest because Leo’s won a fair few awards for his performance. When I decided to watch the film I was intending on writing an article about how great he had been and why he’s now managed to bag a Golden Globe, AACTA, Screen Actors Guild, Critic's Choice award and now a BAFTA. However to be honest with you I was pretty disappointed with the whole thing.

The film is very loosely based on the life of Hugh Glass, played by Leo, a frontiersman in the 1800’s on a fur trading expedition who after being mauled by a bear is left to die by his own men.  Hugh Glass was actually a frontiersman who supposedly fought off a bear but it’s never actually been proven. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, also known for Birdman, has also received quite a lot of notoriety for the film and bagged himself a fair few awards as well. Other notable cast members include Tom Hardy, who plays Fitzgerald and pretty much the route of all Leo’s problem's, Domhall Gleeson, and the kid with the eyebrows.

There were quite a few things I found wrong with The Revenant. Firstly, the film is too long. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy films that are longer than an hour, for example the Deer Hunter lasted about three days and that’s great,  but The Revenant does seems to drag. I did find myself getting a little bored in the middle, my mind wondered and starting thinking about what to have for dinner and if I had set my alarm. The first half hour and the last half hour only really seem to contain any real plot development; the rest of the film just seems to be Leo grunting and dragging himself around some snowy mountains meeting set back after set back.  None of which seemed to be overly memorable.

The film is also unnecessarily gory; every 20 minutes something dies and once again Leo has to overcome another problem to which he miraculously seems to bounce back from. He literally gets mauled by a bear, buried alive, has to jump of a cliff and hide in the carcass of a dead horse all in arctic conditions and still seems to be walking by the end of it all. There seems to be this common trait in films like this where they think this OTT violence keeps audiences captivated and has an impact but it started to get tedious, I just wanted his to reach base camp so we could all go home.

Tom Hardy aka Fitzgerald is a right little trouble maker throughout the whole film and has this low southern accent that makes it pretty hard to understand anything he’s saying but he does play his usual thug part pretty well. The Revenant isn’t my favorite film that I’ve seen Leo or Hardy in, things like Legend seem to make better use of Tom Hardy’s acting skills and The Wolf on Wall Street and Django are again a much better example of what DiCaprio can do.

The only real stand out element to the film is the cinematography, it’s stunning and that in itself makes it worth watching. Mainly shot in Canada, Iñárritu only wanted it shot in natural light and this painstaking way of filming pays off.  The whole film is so picturesque with every shot of the scenery good enough to be a photo; the camera crew deserves about 1000 awards for it. The film moves from scene to scene seamlessly and even though I watched the film on my laptop I still found it to be visually pretty amazing. Even in the last scene of the film when Leo finally gets revenge on Tom Hardy blood gets splattered on the camera lens and makes you feel like your there. 

The problem with The Revenant is that it’s just been overhyped, like all of these big blockbuster films with high profile actors. It doesn’t need to be such a saga, so over dramatized and kind of overdone. I feel a small scale film company with a small budget and a few unknown actors maybe could have portrayed the story just as well if not better.