(This is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film review, which is a Tarantino film about the 1969 alternate timeline set in Hollywood)
Tarantino is back, but this time his movie seems to be more of a slice-of-life genre rather than the gritty action to the likes of Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is really a sort of homage to the old classic Hollywood back in their heydays in alternate timeline.
The film is directed by the famous Quentin Tarantino himself, along with plenty of A-star actors and others such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. Now, let’s get down to the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film review to see if can match its predecessors in terms of quality and storytelling!
The film has actually not much of a plot to speak of, as it relies on multiple perspectives of actors working in Hollywood, and also documenting their lives there sort of. But the main leads are actor Rick Dalton and his stunt double Cliff Booth, and it sees them going through rough period in their lives where their stardom is fading. What will happen?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Film Review
This film is once again a fine example of the management of expectations. If you’re expecting something along the lines of… Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained then you will be sorely disappointed. This is much more along the lines of Pulp Fiction. A collection of moments instead of a very story driven plot. If I were to classify this film into a genre, it would be slice of life.
Does the story really even matter? I don’t think it does. But it is true that some Context might help you understand this film better. Charles Manson was the Head of a cult whose members had committed a gruesome multiple murder on some members of Hollywood High society one night. One of the murdered is Margot Robbie’s character, Sharon Tate. This bit of information serves to frame the ending of the movie better, give it more meaning and also to of course better give a reason for why she is in the movie at all.
Does the story really even matter? I don’t think it does
But the main bulk of the movie really isn’t about any of that, it’s pretty much about the daily life, shenanigans and relationship between the 2 main leads. One a Hollywood action star has-been struggling to get his career back on track and also at the same time coming to terms with the fact that he is a has-been. The other is his laid back, devil may care stuntman.
So if the story isn’t the point of this film? What is? Moments!
So if the story isn’t the point of this film? What is? Moments. This film is made up of scenarios that are supplemented by an amazing script by tarantino and some great fucking acting and improv of the actors. The film may not have a very….. Compelling plot but god dayum do some moments wow me. This isn’t an example of how to write compelling plot for your film but it is many good examples of how to film different kinds of scenes with different kinds of tones.
This film sort of reminded me of THE classic spaghetti Western “The good, the bad and the ugly”. In a sense that it too was very much a collection of very interesting, well shot and well acted scenarios strung together by a plot which may or may not have mattered. Of course, that film had a more cohesive and compelling plot and hence is a better film overall.
Is the sacrifice of good scenes better for the greater good of the overall plot even though you have boring moments in between?
But it does make me wonder, is the sacrifice of good scenes better for the greater good of the overall plot even though you have boring moments in between? Or is it perhaps better to make sure every single scene you shoot is an interesting scene but the overall plot ends up being nonsensical and maybe even inconsequential in the end?
Ultimately this film is a homage to the decadent and wacky Hollywood lifestyle of the 60s and 70s. It is a slice of life comedy.