Stunning cinematography catapults The Revenant into glory


Gracie Soldatenko

The Revenant impresses with stunning cinematography and a gripping performance from Oscar-nominee Leonardo DiCaprio.

Graciela Soldatenko, Reporter, Photographer

The five year production of The Revenant finally came to an end August 2015, resulting in a breathtaking film.

Once again, director Alejandro Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki put their artistic talents together and transport the viewer to the frontiers of 19th century America for two hours and thirty six minutes. The Revenant tells a true story about a trapper named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the hardships he faced while seeking revenge. Additionally, the cinematography and talented actors take a seemingly simple revenge story to a new level.

Lubezki, an award winning cinematographer, works with Iñárritu to capture the most enthralling scenes to hit the big screen in the past twenty years. Lubezki masterfully utilizes long takes throughout the movie to place the viewer in the midst of the action. Lubezki exemplifies this in a scene in which he takes us through the trappers camp in one long take, when suddenly they come under attack by a Native American tribe. As a result, the viewers experience the fear of the trappers as they watch arrows and gun fire come from all directions.

In addition to the beauty of the cinematography, the film also possess a rare combination of little dialogue and raw emotion. Iñárritu praises DiCaprio for his ability to “act with his eyes.” He prominently displays this in the scene where Glass witnesses his son being stabbed to death as he lies helplessly without the ability to voice his pain. DiCaprio’s silent acting allows him to convey fear, anger, and bitter cold. In this way, Iñárritu succeeds throughout the movie in making the the viewer sympathize with Glass’s distress in the face of betrayal and the elements.

As a result, a beautifully-filmed movie emerges, with a simple but heart-wrenching plot and actors who fail to disappoint. The characters in The Revenant all fight to survive in the harsh New World; some lose their humanity while doing so, and some lose their lives. Overall, the film leaves the viewers to question a man’s will to survive against all odds. The viewer will also ponder the lengths one would go through to right a wrong, and whether or not revenge stands the right path to take.

The Chant’s grade: A