Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tarantino, Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noire A Gaya Hai

Once Upon  A  Time In Hollywood

Starring  Leonardo diCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Margot Robbie

Written  &  Directed  by Quentin Tarantino

Rating: **(2 stars)

Unpardonably unsexy,Once  Upon A Time In Hollywood is  like sex without a climax. Oh, there is a climax, a blunt, bloody brutal typically-Tarantino climax where  heads are pounded on  heavy metal as  the same plays  in  the background. But it’s all done in  a manner so  brazenly pointless and  obdurately cheerless  you wonder if this lengthy rambling exercise  in self-gratification  is  meant to be some  kind of  an inside  joke on Hollywood’s heaving hedonism in the  1960s.

If  it is(an inside joke)  than sorry, I  didn’t get. Among all his  savagely  satirical war epics—and let’s face it, Tarantino’s cinema is  always  about bloodied  borderline psychotic conflicts—this one takes the cake. The cheese cake.  Some  of the sequences meant to show  the  casually hip and  untamed beau monde in  Bevery Hills, are  so  campy they could easily be  a  part  of an Austin Powers omnibus. Except  that  Powers is meant to be parodic.

Tarantino is  dead serious about  ‘exposing’ the world that the hedonistic  geniuses  of Hollywood inhabited  way back when Sharon Tate  went out on  a date  with filmmaker Roman Polanski and never returned. Sharon Tate, for  the record, is played with  juiced-up provocativeness  by the gorgeous  Margot Robbie. But her  part, like much else  in this  rambling treatise to Tarantino’s brand  of  burlesqued  bacchanalia, is  underdeveloped  scrambled and  raw in  a yucky  kind of  distasteful way.

The women in  this soggy  orgy  are all  caricatures, at least more so than the men who are equally broad-stroked by a script that revels in overstatement. With women called ‘Squeaky’ and ‘Pussy’(yes, you heard right,there’s  a Pussy  in  the puddle pudding of a  plot) we can only expect  caricatural women. Pussy is played  by Margaret Qualley as  a straightforward slut….sorry. there is no other more subtle way  to  put it(subtlety being a quality not  much valued in Tarantino’s kingdom of  the drugged and the damned).She keeps giving  Brad Pitt unambiguously  inviting looks. Finally  when he gives her  a lift, she offers  to  do things to  him that could be lethal while  driving. Suck on that.

Where  is all this leading up to? You  may well ask. I have no clue what  this film is meant to  say or do. Large chunks of  the  Size XXL narration is rambling and repetitive. There are  two lengthy sequences where Brad Pitt is shown preparing his faithful dog’s meal and feeding her. Elsewhere he is shown  driving for long stretches listening to his favourite music.

We  copy. Brad’s  Cliff Booth   is a free spirit, as opposed  to his  friend partner  and employee Rick Dalton,a  star  on  the skids played  with  spirited effrontery  by Leonardo DiCaprio. At the film’s core(not that Tarantino cares for  you to find it,but if you insist)  is  the  Brad-DiCaprio  friendship kinship  . I  suspect the film was  plotted around the superstars.And  though they  are both in fine form their conversations sound like  messages  at the back of cereal boxes being read out loud.

There is  no chemistry between  Pitt and DiCaprio, and not  their fault. And the  best performance comes  from a child actor  Julia  Butters who , in the  film’s best(though again overlong) sequence gives acting lessons to DiCaprio.

This  is  a  soul-less aimless pointless  work of unanchored  brutality fed and fuelled  by  the vanity  of  a  director whose arrogant self-worth  is  evident in every frame. Why else would Bruce Lee be so mercilessly ridiculed  in a sequence that has no relevance to anything?

What harm did Bruce  do to  Tarantino to deserve this treatment? What have we done to deserve  this?

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