Film Review: The Revenant | Writing Skills for ELT & ESL

The Revenant

Film , Action and adventure Now Showing

The Revenant | Official Teaser Trailer: Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. THE REVENANT is directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker, Academy Award® winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel).

In Theaters – December 25, 2015 (Limited); January 8, 2016 (Wide)

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Screenplay: Mark L. Smith & Alejandro G. Iñárritu, based in part on the novel by Michael Punke
Producers: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent, James W. Skotchdopole, Keith Redmon
Original Music by: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter

Leonardo DiCaprio battles the elements – and a ferocious bear – in this fierce, elemental western from ‘Birdman’ director Alejandro González Iñárritu

After the playful, urban and contemporary humour of the Oscar-winning ‘Birdman’, this bleak-faced 1820s-set frontier western sees Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu return to the darker worldview of his earlier films like ‘Babel’ and ‘21 Grams’.

Based on a 2002 Michael Punke novel about real-life folk hero Hugh Glass, ‘The Revenant’ stars Leonardo DiCaprio (gruff, committed, unreadable) as a fur trapper and frontiersman left for dead by his colleagues in a wintry American landscape after he is viciously shredded by a grizzly bear. Glass survives, and he hauls his damaged body through snow, across rivers, up rocks and over plains, driven by revenge. In his sights is John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy, savage with a dash of black humour), the man responsible for abandoning him to die and for forcing him to watch as his young son (of mixed-race parentage) is murdered in front of his eyes.

So, no, it’s not a happy tale. But what survives from ‘Birdman’ is a compelling, forward-moving, simple approach to storytelling that grips us through stretches of silence and misery. The film’s relentlessness itself becomes magnetic. There are times when ‘The Revenant’ feels like one long and unforgiving act of sadism, mostly directed at its lead character, but occasionally at us (a warning: the film is long, the dialogue is minimal and the violence is sharp). There are moments, too, that feel like parodies of awards-hungry acting, such as when we see DiCaprio chomping on raw animal organs or climbing into the steaming carcass of a dead horse.

But what makes this more than just a punishing, fearful, expertly crafted thriller focused on one man’s endurance is heavily down to Emmanuel Lubezki’s attractive, thoughtful photography. Lubezki’s work will be familiar to viewers of Terrence Malick’s recent films (including ‘The Tree of Life’) for the timeless sense of soulfulness that he can lend to a landscape. Here, that same visual style, coupled with the film’s concern for the Native American experience and its compassion for the father-child bond, makes ‘The Revenant’ not just gruelling, but often gorgeous and quietly spiritual. 

  • Chelsea Cineworld

    Chelsea Cineworld, 279 King’s Road , SW3 5EW

    • WEDMAR 23
      • 8:00pm
    • THUMAR 24
      • 8:00pm
  • Cineworld Enfield

    Cineworld Enfield, Southbury Leisure Park, Southbury Road Enfield, EN1 1YQ
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      • 1:40pm
    • THUMAR 24
      • 1:40pm
  • Cineworld Wandsworth

    Cineworld Wandsworth , Southside Wandsworth High St London, SW18 7NR
    • WEDMAR 23
      • 1:30pm
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      • 1:30pm
  • Curzon Victoria

    Curzon Victoria, Victoria Street London, SW1E 5JL
    • WEDMAR 23
      • 2:50pm
    • THUMAR 24
      • 2:50pm
  • Greenwich Odeon

    Greenwich Odeon, Bugsby’s Way Greenwich, SE10 OQJ
    • WEDMAR 23
      • 4:30pm
      • 8:00pm
    • THUMAR 24
      • 4:30pm
      • 8:00pm
  • Odeon Holloway

  • Odeon Kingston

  • Odeon Panton Street

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