deconstructing trailers: THE REVENANT

This true tale of survival, adventure, and betrayal is one of the most anticipated movies of the year. All anyone talks about is Leonardo DiCaprio getting an Oscar. This award winning hype started with a single image of a grizzly bearded DiCaprio.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET snubee portrays a hunter who gets mauled by a bear and left for dead by his friends. There may be more involved, like thievery and deception. However, DiCaprio survives the attack. While he seeks vengeance, he must also battle the cold winter environment.

Anticipation may have just gone up. It may have just sky-rocketed. The average filmgoer might not have been aware of THE REVENANT. They might not be glued to the Interwebs like us movie nerds. They might have missed that earlier image.

This trailer here is sure to increase the buzz. The mainstream audience might hear about this trailer and search it out. This very well could be an Oscar nominee that also enjoys box office success.

Director, Innaritu, won the Oscar last year for BIRDMAN, but that movie barely dented the box office in comparison to last year’s blockbusters. REVENANT has a good chance to break that tradition.

Innaritu’s exquisite visual flare is on full display with his latest film too. While this survival tale isn’t one really long camera-shot, it looks to have a few sequences with Innaritu’s trademark.

The highlight for me was the long floating steadicam galloping alongside DiCaprio on horseback. The camera not only stay’s beside like traditional Western work, it also weaves in front of the horse, and glides back.

The sense of scale is really effective, as you can see a group of horses in the background. This chase sequence should be intense.

The entire look is thick with atmosphere, seemingly filmed with natural lighting. Kubrick did something like this with BARRY LYNDON, filming the entire movie with natural light and in-scene candles.

This sort of photographic technique celebrates the cinematic art-form… emphasis on “cinema”.

While the constant steadi-cam approach may grow tiresome, giving off the occasional distracting fish-eye distortion, it really frees up movement, something Innaritu expertly uses to create energy.

A lot energy was also created with the rhythmical editing of this trailer, as DiCaprio’s breath matches with the beat of the cuts to beautiful effect.

DiCaprio gets all the hype for his performance here, but with this trailer we also get our first look at TOM HARDY and DOMNHALL GLEESON. Each actor looks worn and battered by the element and their struggles. The costumes and setting are top-notch. Hardy is getting a lot of critical hype already, with early talk suggesting a supporting Oscar nomination.

With a strong concept, stellar ensemble, and amazingly visual director, THE REVENANT is definitely one movie you don’t want to slip through the cracks.

This is the reason we go to the movies: to experience things we’d never experience, and explore the nature of humanity, while getting excited and entertained by believable characters we can relate to. DiCaprio portrays a hero we want to see overcome obstacles.


What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “deconstructing trailers: THE REVENANT

  1. I’m very excited for this film and your deconstruction only fuels my interest. I’m a big fan of Barry Lyndon; I’m a big advocate for naturalistic filming. I loved Birdman, so it won’t bother me if Innaritu breaks tradition with a #3 win. He seems to have the pulse of the film industry. Nice job, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

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