Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Review
Here’s my Once Upon a Time in Hollywood review, or more precisely Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood! It opens August 28 from Columbia Pictures Philippines! It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
This is Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is a period piece and goes to… Hollywood of all places. If you think though that the change of scenery would lessen the amount of blood and gore but we’ll do that later. We need to talk about the acting because BOY does this film have acting all throughout. In this film, DiCaprio plays Rick Dalton, Hollywood star who was in a slump. Brad Pitt meanwhile plays Cliff Booth, Dalton’s stunt double.
I like the setup and the symmetry and even ironies that they wrote for the main characters. DiCaprio’s Dalton is hitting the twilight of his career and is making do with what he has right now. Pitt’s Booth is doing OK with his setup and you can see that he worries a bit about what happens to him if his meal ticket goes kaput and Robbie’s Tate is struggling with her new life as the wife of Roman Polanski and being part of the new “Hollywood”.
I really find Margot Robbie’s character arc was really the weakest link in the overall narrative. It’s really hard to even talk about her without giving out massive spoilers. I’m chained up because I want to discuss more of Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate but I can’t do it. I just don’t want to spoil anything. Oh but you can appreciate how she looks in the film but sadly, she’s more eye-candy and plot point among anything else.
I love all the nuances here in the movie and for the Hollywood and all those little bits of pieces of all 1960s America. The vibe, the visuals, the music and the music. The music they chose really brought the highlight for me. It helped cement the period because the locales won’t do much since we’re an international audience. You can have Brad Pitt drive around for hours and we, the viewers, would care less.
If you loved other Tarantino films like “Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained” or even “Deathproof”, you’ll definitely love Once Upon a Time. The director has added a ton of call backs and easter eggs in the film that you may even find yourself doing a second or third viewing just to look for anything that connects to the Tarantino-verse.
If there’s anything that makes it really painful is the long running time. Tarantino is known for long films and for his ninth film, its not an exception. Peppering up and giving more depth to the characters will never hurt a film but it could do little “papercut” harm in the overall aspect.
I also miss villains here. The main villains in the film, The Manson Family (as in Charles Manson) can be creepy but nowhere near the same level as the other endearing “Bad Guys” in this “shared universe”.
Good thing for “Once Upon a Time…” they manage to redeem themselves by providing viewers with the trademark violence towards the film’s climatic ending which we can’t discuss right now. Know however, that they have the requisite bloodshed and gore here in this movie. Just not as many as we’re used to seeing. This is pretty much like a small pond compared to all the bloodshed in other films; that’s up to you whether its a good thing or a bad thing.
– Acting great
– Cast great
– Visuals were superb
– Running time was tough but redeemable
– Ending was surprising and very ironic.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Review Verdict
This easily goes to the top of my Tarantino picks along with the two Kill Bill films and Django Unchained. Its beautiful, revisionist (with a happy ending) and topbilled with A-Listers. Plus its a nice alternate look at the world, a nice what-if and a somber look at the death of the 1960s and the cowboys. Also its sad to note that the next movie that Tarantino will release could possibly be the last movie he helms.