Wednesday, January 20, 2016

the revenant

I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see Alejandro Inarritu’s “The Revenant” film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio (as Hugh Glass) and Tom Hardy (as John Fitzgerald), “based” on a true story of American frontiersman/fur trapper/explorer in the 1820s who was badly mauled by a bear and ultimately abandoned by two men (who’d been charged with looking after him until he died and then to bury him – the senior man being Fitzgerald). Remarkably, Glass ended up patching himself up (as best he could) and crawled/walked more than 200 miles in 7 weeks to the nearest American settlement.
Actually, you don’t “watch” the film, you “experience” it!
Visually and cinematically, it’s a pretty amazing film - with stunning scenery, severe weather and breath-taking action.
It’s VERY long (156 minutes – I felt very sorry for elderly couple who had to leave just 5 minutes before the end!!) and I definitely felt that it could have been shortened without reducing the impact of the story. In addition, it certainly hasn’t been short of controversy: it appears to have gone significantly over budget (reports reckon costs have risen from some $95million to $135million); large numbers of crew quit or had been fired; and, apparently, they also had to contend with the “wrong kind of snow”!
As you’d expect from an actor who’s just won a Golden Globe for his Revenant performance, DiCaprio is very good. But, actually, his performance (due to his injuries) means he can hardly speak for much of the film and, frankly, I can groan, moan and crawl with the best of them!
Despite the awe-inspiring scenery and the excessively bloody action shots, I wasn’t as impressed as I’d anticipated.
Very good, but maybe just a little less than 4 stars for me (but, hey, what do I know!?)?
PS: I was going to say that I “went on my own” but (I suspect due to the film’s popularity with the punters) I watched it in the Watershed’s tiny Cinema 2 – every seat was taken – so, believe me, I was definitely aware of having “company”!

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