With his eyes set on a repeat of last year’s Oscar performance, Alejandro González Iñárritu adds another masterpiece to his already-stellar repertoire. “The Revenant” sees Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and soon-to-be household name Domhnall Gleeson star in a revenge story that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The film follows explorer Hugh Glass on his adventures of survival across the American wilderness.
“The Revenant” excels in every aspect of filmmaking to a degree we have not seen on the silver screen in quite some time. With names like DiCaprio and Hardy involved in the production, it is no surprise that the acting in this film is above and beyond a majority of this year’s releases. The true surprise here is that the quality does not falter as you peer deeper into the cast. Everyone involved rises to the occasion, from up-and-coming stars like Gleeson, who has recently seen an influx of huge roles in films like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 – 2,” “Ex Machina” and “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” to the emerging Will Poulter, who has most notably starred in “Maze Runner.”
Despite this, “The Revenant’s” impeccable acting is somehow outshined by the expert performances behind the camera. The returning duo of Director Iñárritu and Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki manage to outdo their 2015 Best-Picture winner “Birdman” by creating one of the most stunningly gorgeous films in recent memory. From the immaculate shot composition and breathtaking landscape shots to the unbelievably complex and intricate action sequences, not a single misstep is taken.
This feat is made all the more impressive when we acknowledge the fact that they accomplished this on location and used only natural lighting. Filming even a single five-minute scene outside, even with the assistance of studio lighting, can prove to be a difficult task for the most proficient of directors and cinematographers. For Iñárritu and Lubezki to pull off filming an entire two-and-a-half hour film completely outside, using the sun as their only lighting is a feat that many thought was not possible. With this in mind, it is a surprise that this film is even viewable, let alone nominated for a massive 12 Oscars, including Best Director and Best Cinematography, alongside all-time master, Roger Deakins. Once you have left the theater, though, there will be no doubt in your mind that it deserves this spot among the best and, arguably, outclasses them all.
Even without prior knowledge of the way in which it was filmed, “The Revenant” is leagues above its competition. When taking into account the lengths to which everyone involved went to in order to film it, “The Revenant” is an innovative masterpiece. It’s as simple as that. Every last detail in this film is impeccable and truly an experience. Do not miss your chance to see this film in theaters.