January 16, 2016

Movie Review: The Revenant ***

Have you ever used the word revenant before? I guess it takes a Mexican (Director Alejandro González Iñárritu) to teach us a cool new word.
Here's how to use it in a sentence:
1. This film is revenant. (Definition: half an hour too long, so be sure to get a snack.)
2. The situation in this film is revenant. (Definition: preposterous, so be prepared to suspend disbelief.)
It's beautifully filmed and well-acted, and excruciatingly gory. I can take a lot of gore but even I winced a few times. The bear-mauling scene is, of course, really hard to watch. But, voila! he not only survives that, but he's resurrected (making him the revenant) by revenge, and during his long, crawling journey he manages to save a young Indian girl from rape, ride a horse off a cliff and (even though the horse dies) once again survive, and then he guts the horse and crawls into it for shelter. That's a charming scene.
Much of this film is DiCaprio crawling through gorgeous, frozen scenery. And then he crawls some more, and then he gets to his feet and limps along for twenty more minutes, and then just when you're so bored of all that walking, he walks some more, without a limp now, for twenty more minutes.
I needed this story to move along - I got his passion to survive - how could I not, when it's thrown in my face over and over again.
Is The Revenant an Academy Award winner? Obviously not in my book. Is it a great film? It's a good film that would have been better if it were shorter. Will it win? Probably. But there are other films that, in my opinion, are more deserving of the award.
Three out of five stars for The Revenant.

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