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Killers Of The Flower Moon Is Flawless In Its Plea Against Culture Usurpation



Killers Of The Flower Moon

Killers  Of The Flower Moon Is Flawless  In Its  Plea Against Culture Usurpation

By Subhash K Jha

Killers  Of The Flower Moon

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro , Lily Gladstone

Directed  by Martin Scorsese

Rating: *****

All his life Martin  Scorsese  has championed gangsterism in  classics  of the crime genre. We  don’t need  to name them. A  Scorsese  film is never forgotten. His characters are more often than not, vile  and violent. They don’t care whether  we like them or not. Neither  does Scorsese.

This time for the first time  in the poetically titled Killers  Of  The Flower Moon, Scorsese cares deeply for the victims of  unrepentant  violation and plunder. In fact the most  poignant  moment in this lengthy(but never cumbersome) story of greed and murder is when  Scorsese himself appears  on screen as  part of a live prerformance to tell us whether  the  immoral  land grabbers  of the  film got their comeuppance.

 They didn’t. Not what they  deserved. Where, except in the movies,do the  villains get what they deserve? This celluloid moral truism misses Killers Of  The Moon  by a wide margin.  Not that the  guilty are not punished. But their punishment  is not equal to the crime.  It cannot be, when  the crime is  against humanity, when the  guilty are so soaked  in blood they can no longer recognize themselves in the mirror.

This is the land of supreme evil,   where the  capacity  for  rapacity is  infinite.  The setting is the  Osage  county in the 1920s where  Leonardo di Caprio’s  portrayal  of  the dimwitted malleable  gold digger who marries a native American Indian  for her oil-spilling  land, is so authentic I  felt  this is diCaprio and Scorsese’s  best collaboration to date. Till the  end  I waited  for  the  character’s redemptive curve. Where does avaricious  ambition stop?

DiCaprio ‘s Ernest tells us that greed has no full stops. His uncle William Hale, known  in Osage  County is King,and played by  the renewably  redoubtable Robert di Niro,  is  a more identifiable breed  of evil. His DNA is wired for evil. It is a way of life for him. We know this man even if we don’t want to.

The epicenter of purity  and absolution in this tale of irredeemable  evil is Mollie Kyle(Lily  Gladstone). She is smart  but sadly vulnerable. Watching her  buckle under  Ernest’s monstrous murderous machinations I wondered  again why beautiful intelligent women  often fall for the biggest  scumbags.

 As  the native tribal women of Osage county fall in love with White Trash , and then  FALL  with a thud  in love, Scorsese leaves us with a profound sense  of grief and loss. The film made me  think , why  do human beings behave so  badly with one  another? As Lily Gladstone’s Mollie  falls prey to  the  most unimaginable greed,the film weaves a  gossamer web  around the endangered  community of  Indians who are  targeted  for their  land .

This is where the real  relevance  of  Killers Of The Flower Moon broadens  into a far wider spectrum than that of the native Indians in Osage  county. Scorsese’s film is  a plea for the  preservation of  cultural  heritage in every part of the world where usurpers  are on the prowl. Its defining parameters go far beyond the immediate  scope  of  the epic. The  flawless narration throws forward  an exceptional array of  possibilities and  probabilities pertaining to  the shapes that life can take when the  Gods allow the  greedy a  freehand.

 This is  a film that  should not  be talked about.It just has to be  experienced  , and seen  not once but at least twice—once to just absorb its  unique and stunning blend of the bleak and the beautiful, and then again for the  unspoken clues that are  skillfully strewn for the characters in their journey to damnation.

Killers Of The  Flower Moon is a  film that  will be talked  about in hushed tones for many generations to come. As for the performances, let’s not insult the brilliant actors in smaller roles by singling out the three extraordinary  principal actors. But yes, Lily Gladstone  is heartbreaking.

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