solstrale’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)” was on the top of my most anticipated movies list. I finally saw it at movies & I wasn’t much impressed at all. The trailer is much better than the actual film.
It’s fun to watch Leonardo DiCaprio & Brad Pitt together. But their bromance was kind of monotonous since I expected them to go on more adventures. DiCaprio is excellent in emotional & self-confrontation scenes but other than that his role is the safest. Compared to DiCaprio, Pitt’s role is more challenging & fun. He also did his own stunts which is admirable. I reckon, Pitt really enjoyed starring in this movie. His character’s story is underdeveloped though. DiCaprio & Pitt were able to use their acting skills, but Margot Robbie wasn’t. Robbie is more than just a blonde bimbo & an angelic face. She’s very talented Oscar nominated actress. If she was given more dialogues & opportunities as Sharon Tate, she would’ve slayed it. For me, Brandy the dog slays it all. No wonder she won an award at Cannes.
The film is too long as typical Tarantino films. It’s almost 3 hour length. But unlike typical Tarantino films, it’s 1st half is slow-paced & boring. It’s like an introduction phase to connect events & characters but it’s unnecessarily long. The 2nd half is where the actual movie & action both start. Fortunately, the 2nd half is fast-paced & entertaining.
The narrative is sloppy. There are loosely written short dialogues & blunt jokes. Tarantino probably must’ve thought what is the use of writing a script so meticulously when the cast has incredible actors. However, he had to fill in the blanks with his [dirty] food fetishism. To make this film even more “Tarantino-esque”, he included Western & World War II elements which are kind of his trademark. Moreover, he added hippies this time which was different to see. Just like expected, once again he wrote an alternative history. His version ain’t as dark & bloody as real history but it feels too light & soft for Tarantino. In spite of all flaws in narrative, his directing is remarkable as usual. The cinematography gives nostalgic feels. The film editing needs more work though. I found it actually bad.
The 9th film of Tarantino is one of the best movies of 2019 but it’s not his best movie to date. In other words, it’s a good film but it’s not a good Tarantino film. OUATIH is a love letter to Hollywood from Tarantino. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to write a love letter to OUATIH.