The Revenant is a gorgeous slog. From the opening panorama to the final close-up, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s frontier survivalist epic confronts the viewer with this discord. This tension colors the film completely, elbowing out more nuanced analyses of character arcs or thematic material upon first glance. But to claim, as some critics have, that The Revenant is a pretty film devoid of meaning is an absurdity. The harrowing cinematic experience certainly offers visual splendor up front and is heavily fettered in a masochistic cloak, but underneath it all, the insights into the human condition are many and varied. Besides marveling at the strength of the human spirit or the futility of revenge, themes of spiritual rebirth, everlasting love, betrayal, racism, and even the importance of friendship and connection with another human being in this vast, cold world.
The Revenant has been anticipated since April of 2014, when Alejandro G. Iñárritu announced that he had started to work on the project with Leonardo DiCaprio in the leading role. The story was to be based on a novel of the same name detailing the true events of a fur-trapper on the American frontier at the beginning of the nineteenth century. After the world saw the heights Iñárritu was capable of with Birdman, that anticipation skyrocketed, and we are fortunate to finally get a brief look at The Revenant with a haunting teaser trailer which revels in the mood of a dark, savage thriller. Watch the teaser below: