Once Upon a Time in Hollywood movie review: Quentin Tarantino film buoyed by Leo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt’s performances
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood brims with the kind of palpable love for cinema that only a passionate cinephile like Quentin Tarantino can bring on screen. It uses cinematic and pop-culture mythology for a magical imitation of reality. It is a celebration of the kind of films that first inspired Tarantino himself as a child.
In a modern film industry increasingly reliant on VFX and CGI to tell its stories, Tarantino has always stood out because his imagination and writing have always been the biggest special effects of them all. Throughout his work, he has retained certain postmodern hallmarks — the pop culture pastiche, stylised violence, whip-crack dialogue, excellent music choices and inherently stylish characters. His ninth feature, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has all this and more. Yet, they fail to synthesise into a truly mesmerising whole.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood builds slowly, accumulating characters and taking various detours before unraveling in a batshit-spectacular fashion. Its climax will leave you in a delirious Dopamine-rush, the kind of which only Tarantino can induce. Watching one of the most eagerly anticipated films on opening night in a theater full of fellow Tarantino fans is the manifestation of what makes the communal experience of cinema so magical.