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The Revenant: Capsule Review

  • Merkwürdige Liebe

    Merkwürdige Liebe

    Desimartini | Updated - February 29, 2016 7:37 PM IST
    3.6DM (305 ratings)

    Verdict - Bloated, pretentious, arrogant bit of filmmaking.

    The RevenantWatch trailerRelease date : February 26, 2016

    Here's the thing: Alejandro G. Inarritu is a hack. He doesn't have anything interesting to say, so he tries to cover that up with faux-virtuoso attention-seeking filmmaking that's supposed to be a coup, somehow. In this new film, which is even worse than the last one, he's gunning for a tale full of despair, one where we are shown the worst side of human beings and the unforgiving side of nature, you know, like Apocalypse Now, Aguirre The Wrath Of God or the recent masterwork by Aleksei German, Hard To be A God. (Of course, that is an entirely superficial observation that merely points to a 'subgenre' instead of delving deep into the particular film in question, but that's exactly what this film warrants.) Inarritu doesn't provide any insight whatsoever into the themes he's trying to explore - the film is replete with flashbacks of dead people levitating and some random religious undercurrents that are so forced that you can practically hear Inarritu yelling at you that he's a serious filmmaker making profound works of art. Except that his idea of profound is a series of flamboyant, showy shots that serve little purpose except that of telling us how difficult the process of making the film was. His idea of intensity is to thrust the camera into the face of his principal actor and making him froth in his mouth while indecipherably mumbling stuff in a growly voice. It's all as hackneyed as they come. There are some choices that would have truly stood out as audacious in a different film - like its outright rejection of narrative coherence, absolutely making the narrative halt in the middle hour to showcase arbitrary things - had it not been for The Revenant's numbing emptiness. If you look really closely, all this is is a simple straightforward tale of a man trying to avenge his dead son who was killed by the extremely one-note antagonist. But Inarritu considers that to be too lowly for his stature, so he pads it up with arty bits - which is fine they're integrated into the whole structure smoothly, but he wants you to marvel at the splendor of his 'vision'. Just give Leo, an actor capable of great things, that damned Oscar already so he can go back to doing work that actually counts instead of submitting himself to these bloated director-vanity projects whose sole aim is to woo the Academy with their affectatious grandstanding.

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