Film buffs and non-critical audience members across the world have eagerly awaited the release of Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Made up of a star-studded cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino, the film delivers on star power and big Hollywood action.
Just like his 2009 film Inglourious Basterds, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood re-imagines real-life events in a way unique only to Tarantino.
The film centres around television series star, Rick Dalton and his stunt-double Cliff Booth, while illustrating the decline of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, famed director Roman Polanski, become Dalton’s neighbours, sparking an idea in the failing actor’s head that he may somehow use the connection to reinvigorate his career.
DiCaprio and Pitt are both excellent in their respective roles as Dalton and Booth, and share an easy chemistry that makes their on-screen friendship feel authentic and warm. Between the two, Dalton receives more screen time, and audiences generally seemed to dislike Booth as it is implied that he murdered his wife while at sea.
Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate lights up the screen but adds little as a character – she has little in the way of dialogue, and her character does not develop as the others do. Instead, Tate is treated as a goal, not a person. What Tate does well, however, is offset the darkness of Dalton’s high-functioning alcoholism and depression with her lighthearted, innocent nature.
If you do not know the beautiful Tate’s link to the Manson Family murders of the late 60s, you may be left confused as this is where Tarantino weaves his cinematic magic. Tarantino is also known for his use of gratuitous violence, as is evident throughout his body of films, but many audience members condemned the use of violence against women in the third act of the film.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood makes for an interesting watch and is a visual masterpiece, but I’ll leave you to decide what you think of it when you get the chance to see it yourself.