Review: Tarantino Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Debates Violence and Friendship

by Kelvin
Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio

In his 9th film, director Quentin Tarantino revisits the Hollywood of 1969, the year of the murder of actress Sharon Tate by members of the cult of Charles Manson, to elaborate his new tale of violence and the history of cinema.

Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood presents the story of veteran TV actor Rick Dalton (role of Leonardo DiCaprio) and his loyal stuntman and personal driver, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), as Rick experiences a crisis in his career. Next door to Rick's mansion on famous Cielo Drive is rising star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), pregnant with filmmaker Roman Polanski.


Based on this historical context, Tarantino takes advantage of the facts to create his version and rewrite the events, something the filmmaker brilliantly accomplished in Inglorious Bastardswhile developing a captivating narrative about the partnership of two friends in the best style buddy movie.

Image Source: Sony Pictures / Disclosure

Much of the film is devoted to the journey of Leonardo DiCaprio's character in his confrontation with the "aging" in the entertainment industry, losing roles to younger actors and being forced to play villains in TV show specials – but always counting with the unrestricted support of his stuntman.

Tarantino's signature

The plot unfolds amid intermissions, with flashbacks inside of flashbacks, recreated scenes from old shows and comments by an omniscient narrator, reminiscent of the director's style since the time of Pulp Fiction. And like every good Tarantino movie, Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood It has great dialogues, a lot of humor and, of course, excessive violence.

At key moments in the feature film, characters debate the representation of violence on screen, what it means about society and its possible effect on the public. For Tarantino, however, film violence is a language in itself, and no wonder its most brutal scenes are punctuated by some deconstruction – either by exaggeration or by comedy.

If the director's signature remains intact, many may question his interest in this story of Hollywood's past. The answer lies in the elements that so fascinate Tarantino – from western spaghetti to buddy movie – which are here, while the filmmaker can explore the violence and historical correction previously portrayed in the contexts of slavery (Django Unchained) or World War II (Inglorious Bastards) – through a dark period of the entertainment industry.

Leo and Brad

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, who previously worked with the director on Django Unchained and Inglorious Bastardsrespectively counteract for the first time in Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood, and the meeting of the stars is even more pleasant than we could imagine.

The actors leave striking interpretations to be remembered for the upcoming awards season: DiCaprio as a protagonist with the most dramatic charge, and Pitt as an often hilarious supporting character. Together, Leo and Brad have the most inspirational dialogues and the best scenes in the production.

Leonardo DiCaprio Brad PittImage Source: Sony Pictures / Disclosure

Margot Robbie's participation as the young Sharon Tate is limited to a few sequences within the 2 hours and 45 minutes of the film, but the actress is always noted for her talent, beauty and charisma. Quentin Tarantino also brought together several famous people to be part of this Hollywood narrative, including Al Pacino, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis, the late Luke Perry, newcomer Maya Hawke. Stranger things) and veteran Bruce Dern.

Given this result, it is really a pity that Tarantino is so determined to end his career as a director after the 10th film, depriving film fans of masterful works like this one. Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood.