The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: ‘The Revenant:’ the man vs. the world

Sia DeyKoontz
Drew Coffey

All I can say is that my bed felt a lot warmer after watching this film.  

The 2015 film “The Revenant” is directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter and Domhnall Gleeson.  

It tells the miraculous story of Hugh Glass who after suffering almost life-ending injuries during a vicious bear attack, is left for dead by his men in 1823.

After this incident and one of his crewmen killing his son, Glass embarks on a mission of revenge, travelling through the winter-stricken wilderness.  

I would be a lying man if I said I could survive the same events DiCaprio’s character goes through in this movie. The cold alone would make me call it quits, to be honest.  

I think that goes to show how amazingly the environment in the film is portrayed and how it also acts as a character in the story. Whenever Glass is lying in the snow wincing in pain, the audience feels every bit of that.  

This participatory element of the film is also credited to the incredibly dynamic cinematography and camera work throughout.

For example, when Glass is being pursued by a native tribe, the camera is spinning around the landscape of the scene, making you feel engrossed in the tension and environment.   

The locations they filmed for this film, which consisted of multiple locations in Canada, showcase the empty yet weirdly calming beauty of nature.  

The acting in this film is absolutely mesmerizing from top to bottom.  

Now would I say this is DiCaprio’s best performance? No.  

However, what I can say is that the sheer work and determination that was presented in his acting well earned the Oscar he received for this role. 

A notable moment is when his son is killed by Tom Hardy’s character, John Fitzgerald. The heartbreak and rage on his face accompanied by his debilitating injuries is an absolute masterclass. 

Hardy himself delivers a great performance as a hateful man who won’t listen to anyone who opposes him.  

When the two finally meet again at the end of the film, we are treated to a cinematic but painfully realistic battle. People’s ears are bitten off, fingers are cut and there is plenty of blood to go around. 

In terms of pacing, I think the build up to this fight scene seems a little rushed, especially with the fact that Glass is still recovering from traumatic injuries.

We are never specifically told how long it has been since he found his way back to camp, which makes the fight seem forced after an hour and a half of slowly watching Glass travel the wilderness.  

Now to play devil’s advocate, I can see how the film may be more focused on Glass coming to terms with his mortality. However, the film’s final confrontation just seemed a tad quick for me.  

Overall, “The Revenant” is an awe-inspiring, visually magnifying film that makes the audience feel involved with the undesirable conditions throughout. With great performances, cinematography and a mortally poignant theme, the film stands as a modern-day classic in my eyes.  

My overall rating: 4.5/5 


Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Drew Coffey
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.

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