Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Tarantino's ninth film is a light, hilarious, historically inaccurate vehicle to the 1960s that asks us to sit back, kick our bare feet up, and take in the beautiful scenery of the classic Hollywood of old. Pitt and DiCaprio kill it in their roles as best friends, and Robbie serves a greater purpose overall as Tarantino upends history for a clever twist on the infamous Manson Murders.

As a fan of all of Tarantino's films, I gotta say the first time I watched this film I felt underwhelmed. I wanted more of the chaos and drama I have come to expect from ol' QT. I left the theater mostly happy, but quickly forgot the film.

This time around, I sat down and dialed in once more and man I gotta admit, this film is great. It's so much fun, it's casual, and a breath of fresh air compared to films that come out today. There aren't universal stakes. The planet won't explode if Rick Dalton doesn't get another role in a film. It feels like real life, which is ironic since QT quickly flips history around towards the end of the film.

Easily my favorite parts of the movie are the immaculate transformation of LA, and the interplay between Pitt and DiCaprio. If you want immersion, this film is IT my friends. Beyond the obvious 60s aesthetic, the music really helps to completely submerge you in the time period as well, with Pitt whipping around roads blasting classic groovy tracks that make you wanna move.

My negatives are definitely a result of my first viewing, but they still have merit. For myself, I felt that there was no clear goal of the film, no 'purpose'. It felt like I was just watching moments unfold between these people and nothing more. I felt very disconnected and didn't exactly care. I definitely laughed my ass off at the end, but I had to sit through 2 hours+ to get to a moment that really resonated.

Like I said though, the second viewing really worked for me, as I knew what to expect and was ready to just let go and treat it like an episode of Seinfeld. It's the perfect "hangout film". I can see myself and a couple friends ordering pizza, grabbing a couple beers and just sitting to watch this film and not expecting insane drama or stakes that leave the universe in the balance.

We don't get nearly as many of these films as we should today, and I thank Tarantino for shaking it up and throwing this film into the mix of superhero movies, franchise films, and garbage remakes. Please keep making movies QT, we need you.

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