MV5BMjU4NDExNDM1NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDIyMTgxNzE@._V1_SX214_AL_So here we are again, 19th century American wilderness in (most of the time) lots of snow where hairy-faced men are violent and bloody and brutal (though in a very different way from the last film like this I saw – was it only the previous week?)

The Revenant is inspired, we are told, by true events:

A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.

Anticipation for this film has been high chez Bride since we started seeing trailers alongside recent movies, and only slightly dented by the silly suggestion that Leo gets (as my friend Silvery Dude put it) “shagged by a bear” (more about that later).

And it was really impressive. I’m not sure it’s a film I could say I enjoyed because it is pretty grim throughout; there’s a lot of suffering on screen and a couple of bits where I actually winced. But in my opinion it can’t be faulted as a story of survival through sheer force of will. I was not an admirer of DiCaprio until I saw him in Gangs of New York, but I’ve come to appreciate him over the years (and he definitely saved The Great Gatsby for me as I believe I may have mentioned elsewhere) and I think he’s brilliant here, especially considering that for huge chunks of the film he isn’t actually able to speak (or has no-one to speak to) so it’s physical acting that gets his character’s emotion across, whether they be fear, anger or awe (the bit with the stampeding bison is brilliant). But boy, his character has no luck at all.

He’s supported by a really excellent cast. Tom Hardy is always worth watching and does a good turn as the main nasty, and as others have pointed out Domnhall Gleason seems to be in everything at the moment but that’s because he’s really very good (I like him a lot – is it wrong to have a bit of a crush on General Hux?) But it’s definitely Dicaprio’s film, and I will be cheering him on at the Oscars.

I also want to give a shout out to the bear; found out later how they filmed that attack which is bloody and relentless and you do wonder how Leo’s character survived. It is actually easier to believe that they did indeed set a bear on him. And the whole sexual assault rumour was just so stupid; female bear defending her cubs, and that’s it.

So, grim and relentless and beautifully filmed with a lead character hell-bent on extracting his revenge all against beautiful epic scenery. Well worth watching.

Advertisements