Tarantino’s humour is dramatically challenged and emotions mocked with silliness, there lies his film in between.
Tarantino’s bluff is so smart that the entire film feels stupid. A joke. So now, the question it raises is, Is it funny? Not particularly. It is not a funny joke. It is a joke that you’d wish you had told. It is a joke that filters its audience out and then welcomes you to an open discussion that could last for hours. Good. Productive hours. For the writer-director, Quentin Tarantino is grabbing all the sensitive glasses in one tray and is serving us with an upbeating groovy music and a cautionary manual of “how to” deal with the film. Or more accurately, the final showdown. The entire film is just consuming energy for those last moments. That he exonerates in a big smile.. and not a laugh. This is smart filmmaking.
Up till now, I have been in awe of his writing in all the films. But after this film, I am leaning towards his maturity and confidence as a director. And as an evidence there is a scenario placed in the middle of the film where Cliff Booth played by Brad Pitt enters a red zone. Not only does the cinematography and background score glorifies Tarantino’s legacy in that very antic, but as a part of narrative he whispers the secret of the film with utmost honesty and whisk of his signature absurdity.
Bonkers! is your reaction as you leave the screen and to protect that feeling is his bulletproof script that stands tall with him. Tarantino, as a writer has been lately considering himself to be drawn towards the literary art form, subjugates his and his project’s place in his creative form just as Shakespeare used to do in his days. Often pitching himself on screen as a metaphor or the state or stage he has been through in his life, Tarantino’s penultimate project- swooping in every last drop- sums up his work like a final chapter of a novel.
Ergo, by the time credits starts rolling everything and everyone has left the room, letting the dust settle and satisfaction flood in. Leonardo DiCaprio embodying a persona as Rick Dalton ought to be up for the game giddily considering how bottomless the pit is when it comes to the emotions of his characters. It is a role that anyone would love to have and yet not taking it for granted, DiCaprio’s finest moments can be seen on set fumbling and riffing with his co-stars.
But I have been in love with underrated character since the very beginning. And ergo Pitt’s Cliff resonates more strongly to me than anyone. Primarily, because it had very less chances to work on screen. Often audience reacts to empathy in a character and for a character that never sees a fall in the film, Pitt has a daunting task to make those half-grins charismatic and also earned. And on that note, Pitt steals the show with a Hawaiian shirt, c***y know-it-all attitude, a loyal dog and pretty standard one-liners; which I think doesn’t just signifies the Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood part but the whole lifespan of it.