Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★½

To start off, I’ve never really been a big fan of Quentin Tarantino’s work. The films that I’ve watched, and others that I have almost “refused” (too strong of a word) to watch, have always seemed to me a bit to violent, too explicit, etc. I understand people’s admiration for his work, as I understand the quality of the work itself, but it always too much of one thing and not enough of another.

Moving on from my “history,” or lack thereof, of Tarantino’s films, I have to admit that I surprisingly, genuinely really thoroughly enjoyed this film. I’ve only watched it once as of now, and assume that I will grow accustomed to Tarantino’s almost vile style the second time around. 

One of my favorite things about this film, which is honestly the main reason for my adoration of it in total, were the characters and the depth of them that was not simple involved in the film, but was at its center focus. I believe that the reason I was never fond of Tarantino’s filmography was because to me there was a lack of human emotion and sense of reality, and the focus was the violent and highly explicit action and language. One thing that I truly think did it for me and really made me love the film as I never truly anticipated was that Leonardo DiCaprio was the lead. Now to understand, Leonardo DiCaprio has always been my favorite actor, and he has never disappointed me. The plot of the movie was very intriguing imo and part of it was its simplicity. Leo plays an actor, he has a best friend who’s his stunt double, and they try to get cast in movies. But the story goes much further than that, and as most of Tarantino’s movies, far more twisted. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll move on. Not being a very big fan of him, at least not at any level of comparison to Leo, I absolutely have to admit that imo, Brad Pitt did a great job with his character as well. He brought an almost childish light to his character. He brought this sense of masculinity that didn’t seem to be toxic at all, even in this particular fight scene fight in the middle of the movie, which I loved. There was a sense of charisma that his character had that leveled out the high level of drama that was in the rest of the film. 

I also loved the cinematography as a whole, the way that it was all shot, and the transitions from scene to scene. The set design was so well done, everything was so believable that not knowing the era well, I was really taken into this world.

I want to note also, the parts that I didn’t particularly like (what I referred to earlier in saying that on round two I might be more accustomed): the only scenes that through me off were the ones with all the teenagers, especially the ending. I felt very uneasy in watching any of the scenes, and especially the first scene with the girls. Until Pitt’s character takes the teenage girl to her home, I couldn’t quite understand why I felt strange. Truth be told, all those scenes weren’t simply strange, they were highly unnerving, disturbing, and almost terrifying. 

In general, although there were sections of the film, like the scenes I’d described, that I did not like a single bit, I can’t necessarily imagine the film being any different than it is, unless changing it to separate genre.

nika liked this review