Director: Quentin Tarantino
Producer(s) : David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino
Genre : Drama
Release Date : August 16, 2019 (Nigeria)
Awesome-o-Metre : 7.0/10
Revue of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV Star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore.
I have been hearing a lot of slander of this film and to be honest, they aren’t entirely unfounded because the plot of this film isn’t linear and apparent. Rather, there are parallel stories going on and if one doesn’t follow attentively, the film can become convoluted and boring. However, the main plot of the film is that of an aging actor who is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he is getting old and things are changing so fast that he can’t keep up. I can so relate to this when I go to the gym and see the younglings going so hard and I’m barely able to keep up.
An endearing facet of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is that though the film is fictional, it features a lot of real characters including Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and Damon Herriman as Charles Manson. However, my favorite depiction is that of Bruce Lee and this portrayal has caused a lot stir in movie circles as being inaccurate or even racist. I hear the entire film is even based on the life of Burt Reynolds and his stunt double best friend. Burt was even supposed to have a role in this film but he sadly passed away last year.
Anyways, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is filled with Quentin Tarantino’s signature film technicalities in cinematography, use of the same actors (like DiCaprio, Kurt Russel and Michael Madsen) and his love for uncanny scores with a sprinkling of comedy. It features a large ensemble cast and numerous storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age (the entire theme reminds me of “Hail! Ceaser”, with its portrayal of old Hollywood). It won’t appeal to many moviegoers but it is a technically excellent film because its full of metaphors and references to old spaghetti western and if you aren’t a filmmaker or a diehard fan of Quentin fan, just don’t bother seeing it because it will bore you to death, and what’s worse, its 2hrs 30 mins long! Also, unlike most Tarantino films, it is severely lacking in blood and gore but there is this one scene almost at the end of the film that will get you screaming. You will know it when you see it.
I know the film is long and you may have been in a hurry to leave the cinema but do stay put for a bit as there is a post credit scene and in this scene. This scene pays homage to a connecting line in the Tarantinoverse, that is the Red Apple- the fictional cigarette that appears in almost all Tarantino films including Pulp Fiction, Dusk Till Dawn and Kill Bill. This scene may seem irrelevant but its just Tarantino’s style of connecting all his films.
There are many theories to what the end of this film means but I feel that Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a metaphor for the unreal character of Hollywood while paying homage to its golden age. Unlike all Tarantino’s films, this one doesn’t have the usual happy ending but its more melancholic and reflective. I think I am beginning to ramble and should end this review here. I would like to hear from you on what you think of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, so do leave a comment in the comment section below or on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Have a great Wednesday.