Review: The Revenant

Written by guest contributor Cameron Gallagher

I’ve never sat in a theater before where I felt like I was experiencing the film, not watching it. Experiencing every emotion and being pulled through the experiences of the characters frame by frame. Experiencing “PURE ART” at 24 frames per second. This is what I felt while watching The Revenant. It is an absolutely breathtaking film, outstanding acting, and an amazing story.

The Revenant is inspired by true events and tells the story of Hugh Glass and his fight for survival while trying to find revenge after being left for dead. I don’t want to give away much more of the storyline because it is one that is MUCH better experiencing, than just hearing.

The-Revenant_IMAX-posterLet me first start off by saying and you can quote me on this… THIS IS THE GREATEST CINEMATOGRAPHY I’VE EVER SEEM. Yes, it took some while to finally decide that it was. Being a filmmaker myself, I know what it takes to even light one small shot, or nailing the perfect exposure outside, and this film BLEW me away! This film was filmed in 100% natural light with no use of artificial light and I could not believe what I was seeing. Beautiful landscapes, smoke and fire, fog, epic wide close ups, long battle shots. I was sitting in my seat completely stunned by what I was seeing. I would see the film JUST for the visuals.

The ccting of this film is spectacular. If Leo does not win Best Actor for this picture, I will lose faith in the Academy. With little dialogue, Leo completely transformed into a character that I could relate with, even though I am not a trapper in the 1800’s left for dead… that’s impressive. The physicality of this film is phenomenal too! It is purely brutal. Blood, death, and the bear mauling!! That scene could be one of the most suspenseful and blood curdling scene I’ve ever seen.

From a filmmaking standpoint, this film could be one of the greatest of all time. The story is so heartfelt. Genuine. Compelling. Everything you would want in a screenplay, but not only that it felt so original. It didn’t feel like some recycled garbage or overly action packed story of revenge. I also loved the message about Native Americans. Large portion of my close ancestors/family (Grandparents and Great Grand Parents) are full-blooded Native American, and it was nice to see a film that showed the truth about how Native Americans could be brutal, and seemed like “villains” but had been completely taken advantage of and killed in large amounts to steal their land.

The Revenant hit every level for me. This was the greatest cinematic experience of 2015 for me. I could not think of a single thing I didn’t like about this movie. Please go check it out, I promise you won’t be sorry!

Score: 5/5

The Revenant Director: Alejandro Inarritu Writer: Michael Punke Studio: 20th Century Fox Runtime: 156 Minutes Release Date: 12/16/15