In Once upon a time in Hollywood is about Rick Dalton by Leonardo DiCaprio, a stranded actor and erstwhile protagonist of a hit series that is now hopping around to make guest spots. A man without a goal who was put in a drawer. Next to him is his stunt double and general friend Brad Pitt's Cliff Booth, whose Lebowski-like demeanor does not change the fact that he's a man wearing many hats. They roam the city, going from job to job and crossing paths with the wildest parts of the world in a QT-invented 1
DiCaprio and Pitt are together peanut butter and jelly, different flavors that work together and separate, and the built-in levels of the story allow the two to explore these characters in often weird scenarios. From combating addiction to repairing the TV antenna to meeting the Manson family, there is a funny side that is always present and supported by both. Even DiCaprio positions himself as one of the driving forces of jokes throughout the play, though he proves how funny he can be with such things as Wolf of Wall Street . Pitt was previously described as having a main character face best suited for character actor parts, and a role like this is tailor-made for someone with those skills. It should not surprise anyone who has seen Pitt in Basterds that he has some of the best moments in the whole piece and he milks them for all their value, and we love every drop.
Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate is also one of the movie's highlights, and the genius of what Tarantino and Robbie are doing is making the late actress more than this legendary figure. Robbie anchors her in the story by showing the playful side of Tate and reminding us that she was just like us. Sharon was a person. She had friends. She lived and she loved and she had wishes. She bought gifts for her husband. She went to the cinema. But Tarantino makes sure that we know that she is more than that. Tate was an icon and a symbol. In one moment of the movie, she even sees a literal halo of a movie projector around her head. She was just like us, she could sit in a theater and laugh, but she's the one we have to see. Celluloid baptized her.
As a contiguous construction meanders Once upon a time in Hollywood . It has a lot of plates, it turns, many fingers in many pies, but sometimes it gets lost in the weeds. Sequences are played a little longer than might be necessary to be in the limelight of the moment and time. Flashbacks lead to flashbacks within flashbacks. At a certain point, the audience will get where it's going, but the movie is still interested in creating the scenic space. Running over two hours and forty minutes, one feels every extra second. But this is Tarantino's choice of forbearance. He has created this playground and will climb every minute on the climbing frames he can.
There are, however, some distracting elements of Tarantino's playfulness in his homage to this era. Frequent changes from cinema to television and back become disoriented, funny as they lie in the great scheme of history and history. In addition, there is a completely distracting sequence of jumps with a significantly different continuity than before on the screen. Apparently just a fun riff from QT on films of that time, but something pulls some viewers directly out of the film. Again, Tarantino's goal is to have fun, and your mileage can vary, whether you bother those moments or not.
All of this is Once upon a time in Hollywood around Quentin. The film has a striking appearance that evokes the director's feelings about the past, a longing for the world where LA was a beacon and movie stars icons. However, as you continue to dig, you will see that this film is about Tarantino himself: A man with a long career of wild movies and "a lot of murder" is not sure what he is in middle age to start with. He could go out and make Westerns or fall down into the hole. Maybe he will take the time to explore the world and find out what he wants, but in the end he will give us what WE want.
That is why the whole picture of OUATIH works. It is wandering and wandering, but this journey is about finding your place and what to do when you get there. It's a movie about how we know that what we're seeing right now is wrong because the characters on the screen know it. They were there when they were doing the TV show or the movie they finally saw on screen. The whole is a fantasy in the context and on the meta level. It's not real, but it does not matter because it feels real to us and because we get what we want. Tarantino knows this and what he rediscovers here, the power of the cinema and the catharsis that it offers. In essence, the film is a fairytale. It's about answering the call, visiting places with signs saying "Here are dragons" and saving princesses. It's right there in the title. How do all these stories begin? Once Upon a Time …
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