An Ode to the Golden Era – A Review of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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While some critics may disagree, 's ‘' can easily be heralded as one of the best films of 2019. Underneath the glitz and glam of Hollywood lies intricate character development, a well-presented plot, and an authentic representation of a time that marked significant historical moments, all of which can be found in QT's ninth, penultimate film.

As typical of a Tarantino film, the narrative doesn't follow the conventional route, but unfolds in an episodic manner. The story centers around the fading Hollywood actor Rick Dalton () and his resolute stunt double, Cliff Booth (), both trying to find their footing in an industry they scarcely recognize anymore. Shuffling between these characters, the plot also occasionally drifts to Sharon Tate (), embodying the golden charm of tinsel town.

Tarantino is known for his deep love of cinema, and that is evident in this film. ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' is a homage to the golden era of Hollywood, celebrating the classic films, vintage logos, and billboards that once illuminated . It's a film that demonstrates QT's meticulous attention to detail, replicating the look and feel of that era with nostalgic precision.

The performances in this film can only be described as extraordinary. Every actor brings forth their A-game. DiCaprio delivers a raw and emotionally powerful performance. He skillfully portrays Rick, a man tormented by his impending irrelevance, oscillating between pathetic despair and resilient determination. Pitt, on the other hand, adds an undeniable charm to Cliff, effortlessly exuding an air of coolness. The chemistry between Pitt and DiCaprio brings an authentic camaraderie and brotherhood that is both endearing and hilarious at times.

Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate serves as the personified symbol of Hollywood's sparkle. Not entirely pivotal to the main plot, her character is a beacon of hope, success, and innocence that glimmers in the background of Rick and Cliff's struggles. Robbie's Tate is a mesmerizing on-screen presence, each scene she appears in is brimming with lightness and joy.

Stylistically striking and gorgeously shot, Tarantino takes his time fleshing out each scene. The narrative explores the Hollywood landscape in a languid pace, constructing elaborate scenarios that speak volumes about the characters involved rather than propelling the plot. This might seem like a downfall for those craving a quick-paced, action-filled Tarantino movie, but it is a refreshing change of pace for those viewers who enjoy a slow burn.

The soundtrack, another notable feature of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,' complements the visuals perfectly, emphasizing QT's infallible ability to pair music with narrative. Oozing '60s vibes, the eclectic mix of vintage music and advertisements immerse the viewer into the energetic spirit of that time.

The Tarantino-esque violence, though comparatively subdued for the most part, makes a grand appearance in the climax – it's brutal, unexpected, and presented in a darkly comic manner. However, the film's end serves as a stark reminder of the sobering reality that existed outside the movie magic of 1960s Hollywood.

However, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' might not resonate with everyone. It's not a film for those who seek a conventional narrative structure. It's a sprawling, flawed, and self-indulgent film that thrives on its excesses. But it gives an insider look to an era long gone, showing the personal struggles of its characters against the backdrop of a changing movie industry.

In conclusion, ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' is a richly layered, gorgeously presented ode to the golden era of Hollywood. The cinematography, character portrayals, historical accuracies, and music combine to create an exceptional and memorable film experience. For some, it might be a beautiful, nostalgia-inducing journey; for others, a meandering exploration of Hollywood's known intricacies. But for a true Tarantino fan, this film is nothing short of a cinematic treat to be savored.

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