Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Revenant at the Electric Cinema: Film Review | The Small Desk

It's starting to become a tradition that we go to the Electric Cinema as the boyf's birthday present from me. Last year we went to the Electric Cinema in Shoreditch to see Marshland, and this year we went to the one in Portobello Road and saw The Revenant.

It is a fair bit more expensive to go to the Electric Cinema than your average Odeon, but the whole thing is much more of an experience. You can decide whether you want a sofa, an armchair, or even a bed! Each seat has a foot rest with a cashmere blanket to hand, and the cinema food isn't your average popcorn either. There is a bar where you can order alcoholic beverages, brownies and bar snacks. We had nachos delivered to us during the film! I would definitely recommend booking in advance if you wanted to take anyone there as a birthday treat.

Anyway, on with the film review!

I was a little hesitant to see this film as I had told it was very violent, and that there were some pretty harrowing scenes with a bear. It was very violent, and there is an awful scene of a bear attacking the main character, Hugh, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, but the scene isn't quite as awful as some have reported. I was worried about watching it, but you see the bear running towards him before it attacks so at this point you can look away, which I did!

I'll start with what I didn't like about this film and end on what I did like. Firstly, if you haven't done any research before you go to see the film (like me) you will be very confused as to what is going on; it wasn't clear when or where it was set. It felt very abstract at the beginning. Now that I have researched it I can tell you that it is set in 1823 in North America, following a fur-trading mission. Also, through a bit of research, I found out that this is 'loosely' based on the true story, basically the ending didn't actually happen. It would have made a nice 'moral of the story' ending if they had used the real story.

I was intrigued to see if DiCaprio's performance was Oscar-worthy. I'm no actor or film expert, so this is just my opinion, but I felt that he only really acted the physical pain well, and not the emotional pain. During the film DiCaprio's character suffers so many physical injuries that I ended up laughing when he survived what felt like the 100th near-death experience! No-one would have survived falling off the edge of a cliff through a 100 foot tree!

The person who definitely deserves an Oscar though is Tom Hardy. He played the character, Fitzgerald, who leaves DiCaprio for dead. I didn't even realise it was Tom Hardy at first; he was utterly believable and his performances of intense emotion were amazing. I would be surprised if he didn't win.

There has been a lot of talk about the cinematography, and whilst at times it was epic and beautiful, other times it felt a bit cheesy and you were reminded it was a Hollywood blockbuster. For some reason I had hoped for more of a world cinema vibe.

The positives were that it did keep me gripped, at no point did I lose interest, and it made me think. It made me think about the fragility of life, and how far humanity has and hasn't progressed, and for that I would say it is worth seeing. But maybe only once.


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