"I'm not afraid to die anymore...I'd done it already"
Reviewing this film, for me, isn't that straightforward. Particularly as I am a fanboy most of all, and just a bit of a critic. I go to the movies to enjoy them, but seeing as many films as I have, I certainly have learnt to appreciate films and filmmaking and the elements behind them. Which brings me to the case of this film. I don't fully enjoy the film from start to end, but I recognize the great acting & directing involved.
To be honest, this film is probably never made for enjoyment. Its safe to presume that this is that kind of film that aims to win the Oscars or the Golden Globes (which it did). Which is why, coming into this film, I had to lessen my expectations and heighten my respect a little. Its more like watching art, than basking oneself in cinematic experience.
Coming out of this film, what I learnt was that the Hollywood Foreign Press was right to award the Best Director to Alejandro Inarritu and the Best Actor to Leo DiCaprio. Seriously, Leo brings a terrific performance. Within the first hour, I am already convinced that this man deserves the award. Funny thing is, the same can be said for Alejandro Inarritu. His use of natural lighting brings a much more realistic feel to the scenes. And the long continuous takes is accompanied by some brilliant camera movements. I think he does this more as an art than as a film.
That being said, the film itself had some great moments that I personally enjoyed myself, especially in the opening scenes, and the scenes towards the end. But a lot in between are scenes that you wouldn't really call entertaining. If anything, they are intense. And if I had to mention flaws, the first thing I would call out is that the soundtrack is crap. It really is. And while this next aspect may be intentional, it doesn't take away the fact that the film lacks humour & is too slow-paced for a straightforward plot.
But in the end, the best way to describe this film is that this is not film for those seeking enjoyment. You may need to bring a little respect of films and filmmaking to be able to find this film worth the time. But the critics were right in terms of the acting & directing. And you would have to bear (no pun intended) the lack of comedy & pace. Its more art than entertainment.
(Note: For reasons clearly stated above, the score below is not representative of how good the film is, but of how much I enjoy/admire the film)