Memes are a bit of harmless fun that can provide a good laugh here and there. For a while, they’re hilarious. After a while, they get tiresome, and then there are some that just get done to death to the point where they’re irritating as hell.
Case in point: Leonardo Dicaprio’s lack of an Oscar.
If you tried mentioning the guy on the internet, someone would bring it up. Even I did once in an old article. To this day, I still don’t understand how he became the target; sure, he’s had a lot of nominations but at what point did it become frustrating that he didn’t have an Oscar? What did he ever do to suggest that he really wanted it? It baffles me. But it doesn’t matter, because now he fucking has one and everyone has shut up. He couldn’t win it for Gilbert Grape, or The Aviator, or The Wolf of Wall Street, but he picked up a little gold statue for his stunning turn in Alejandro G. Innaritu’s The Revenant, out on DVD and Blu-Ray today.
While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass (Dicaprio) sustains injuries from a brutal bear attack. When his hunting team leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back home while avoiding natives on their own hunt. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, Glass treks through the wintry terrain to track down John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), the former confidant who betrayed and abandoned him.
The Revenant is a brutal experience; there’s a lot of pain, anguish and fear in it’s two and a half hour run time and for the most part, it’s electrifying. The cinematography and direction is absolutely outstanding. It’s packed full of breathtaking imagery, fluid camera-work, and it all makes a for a visceral experience. Innaritu is the first director to win two consecutive Oscars in 65 years, and there was a lot of debate as to whether or not he would after winning for last year’s Best Picture winner Birdman, but one look at this film and you’ll see that it just had to be him that takes the prize.
And if all this wasn’t excellent enough, the cast are a treat too; Domhnall Gleeson and Will Poulter have small but important performances that they shine in, but it’s definitely DiCaprio and Hardy’s show. Hardy makes for an excellent villain, turning Fitzgerald into a despicable, and aggravating coward, while DiCaprio went through hell to blow everyone away and it was certainly worth it. It’s almost easy to mistake this film for a survival documentary when you see the state he’s in; he’s absolutely broken, but he’s determined. It’s this juxtaposition that makes Hugh Glass one of the most compelling film characters of last year, and what drives this film forward as it forces you to feel his pain and struggle with absolutely no escape.
It’s a mostly excellent film, though it has a couple of issues. Firstly, it’s very slow which for the most part is actually a good thing, as it really allows you to feel the full weight of what’s going on, and it makes the more fast paced sections even more exciting. However, there are times when it feels it could be moving just a little bit faster than it is, and feels more irritating than fascinating. Secondly, it’s definitely not an easily re-watchable film. Much like Birdman, it’s kind of a “one and done” film, especially if you’ve already seen it in cinema, at it’s best possible quality. For some, it might be good for two-three watches but for the most part, it’s quite a struggle.
Nonetheless, The Revenant is a brutal, torturous, yet riveting experience that was worthy of every award it scooped up.
THE REVENANT IS OUT ON DVD AND BLU-RAY NOW!