'Once Upon a Time In Hollywood' – A treasure that challenges mass audiences

Quentin Tarantino's new movie is not easy to watch with a lot of details related to Hollywood history, and the director's bizarre film-making style.


The story of Hollywood at the moment of change

In the 1950s and early 1960s, American cinema and television were still the world of "old-fashioned" Hollywood stars. It were the actors with classic beauty, a very bright face, who were suitable to be a screen hero, but often have limited acting skills and always appear with the same style from one work to other works.

A typical Hollywood star like that was Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio). Those years of fame not only gave Rick the money to own a large mansion on the rich hill overlooking Los Angeles, but also brought him to his friend, his close partner Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) - the veteran with the mysterious past who was always ready to protect Rick on set as his stuntman, and in real life as his driver, his best bro, his bodyguard.

Submerged in smoke and the seemingly never-ending aura, Rick didn't realize that society was still changing, and Hollywood wasn't out of that cycle either.


Replacing the star type that only imposed their very own image on the screen is the generation that truly "acted", as little girl Trudi Fraser (Julia Butters) - Rick's younger co-star in the new style cowboy series "Lancer", and emerging directors with social themes like Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha) - Rick's neighbor in a magnificent mansion. They were the new waves that blew a modern, youthful wind to Hollywood, turning the classic Hollywood that Rick loved to the "New Hollywood".

"New Hollywood" had no room for one-color actors. Therefore, the screen hero Rick Dalton must gradually become familiar with villain roles as a background for younger stars such as James Stacy (Timothy Olyphant) – the central hero of "Lancer".

Along with that, Cliff Booth didn't have many opportunities in the role of a stuntman, especially when he had a past that made many people afraid, as well as causing trouble on set when he dared to trouble the most popular martial arts star, Bruce Lee (Mike Moh).

Never dreamed of the day of their career was ruined under change of the society and Hollywood, Rick and Cliff could not have imagined that their lives would be reversed again by the arrival of their new neighbors: Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) either.


A treasure that challenges mass audiences

Only based on the character names of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", many viewers could have guessed that with the latest work, director Quentin Tarantino wanted to return to historical rewrite theme after "Inglourious Basterds" (2009) and "Django Unchained" (2012).

Unlike these two works, with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood", the Tarantino story wants to rewrite is closer to the present: the massacre related to Sharon Tate and her friends at the villa of 10050 Cielo Street caused by Charles Manson followers in August 1969.

But just as "Inglourious Basterds" and "Django Unchained", the new film is not only a rewrite of a historical event, but also a slice of the past seen through the lens of an artist who is deeply in love with cinema.


Loyal to a mixed style from early works like "Pulp Fiction" (1994) or "Kill Bill" (2003-2004), Tarantino includes in the new film many ways of expression, many details reminiscent of the movies in the past. The director seems to make the work to share with the audience his infinite love for cinema, with film history, with Hollywood history.

Therefore, for cinema lovers, it is certain that "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" is a treasure to explore each frame, each line to find the marks of Hollywood in the past, to see how Hollywood and American society were in the late 1960s, how the early 1970s were reflected on the screen.

By: Gitta Russell

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