Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

QT has been teetering on the cliff-edge edge of a masturbatory, misogynistic, racist, senselessly violent chasm for quite some time now, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the film that sends him plummeting into its depths.

Depth, of course, not being a suitable word for this. It's as shallow as could be. Inglourious Basterds essentially spoilers the ending that we plod languorously towards for over two and a half hours and if there's anything positive to be said about this, it's that the sadness that permeates this film is at least appropriate for what one feels when remembering what this director used to be capable of.

I'll try to eke out a few more positive thoughts. While the camerawork is generally frustratingly frantic, it is a real pleasure to follow characters in speeding vehicles. This was what Brad Pitt was made for: looking handsome, being cool, and saying absolutely nothing at all. Rick's raging insecurity is an interesting break from QT's usual male characters - all bluster and machismo and ultra-cool accompanying soundtracks. I almost found myself rooting for him at times.

But then comes the final scene. We all know what really happened, and some of us might even agree that the people who killed Sharon Tate deserve to be brutally killed. But in Tarantino's revenge-fetishising universe, it's just three weedy kids with small knives and a gun that face off against Rick, Cliff and his vicious dog. Our heroes are not powered by the knowledge of what the Manson kids were about to do. They just viciously, brutally, sadistically kill them when they could have just as easily disarmed or immobilised them. The male kid is dispatched relatively quickly; the female characters have their heads smashed in, repeatedly, for what seemed like an eternity. I felt sick and I still do just thinking about it.

I highly recommend reading this quite brilliant piece by Melissa Tamminga for a superb exploration of this quite horrible film.

Block or Report

stevemachine liked these reviews