The Revenant Tranpsorts Viewers to Another Time


By Corey O’Leary

The Revenant is a movie with scope, accuracy and excellent film-making.

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu takes a tale of revenge and injects it with beautiful scenes, intense battles, and a continual feeling of desperation throughout the film. The time and place Inarritu puts the viewers in is immersive and perfectly establishes the tone of this world with flawlessly framed shots, highlighting not only the beauty of Montana in 1823, but also the danger.

The opening scene of the movie contains many of the film’s strengths. Inarritu takes time with the storytelling and we start out following a small group of mountain men hunting, slowly moving in woods with the camera snaking behind them almost as the view as another person. Back at camp, the small society gets attacked by indians. This scene is brutal yet brilliantly choreographed with the whole attack scene consisting of only three or four shots with the camera weaving its way around the victims and the attacker, it justifies no side of the battle and puts the viewer in the middle of the chaos. Inarritu employs Emmanuel Lubezki (the two formerly working together on Birdman) for the cinematography and once again delivers breathtaking unbroken shots as well as perfectly-framed nature scenes that help craft the world The Revenant takes place in.These scenes of action are given more heft due to the fact that Inarritu often does not shy away from depicting more of the grueling and slow paced aspects of being a mountain man.

Now if you were excited for this movie to come out, you probably have heard the controversy surrounding the film before its release. The filming of the movie was described as “hellish” by several cast and crew members with a few of them either quitting or being fired. It is noted that this was partially because Inarritu refusal to use CGI in many of the landscapes scenes, filming on location in many different places around the world. Whatever you may think of this situation, I find it incredibly admirable for a director to film his original vision, to not concede and make artistic compromises solely for convenience. This refusal shows Inarritu’s dedication to make a film exactly how he envisioned, and the love and effort put into the film is apparent. With every scene you can tell the care that was put into the creation of it, how none of the movie was rushed because a studio demanded it.

Thought the acting in this film was amazing, what stuck out to me was not the performances but rather the incredible direction this film is given.

While watching a movie it is a wonderful thing to know that the product has turned out exactly as the director intended and this film displays the incredible talent and dedication Alejandro brings to his movies and solidifies him as one of the best directors working today.