Release Date: Jul. 26, 2019
Set in 1969 in Hollywood, TV star Rick Dalton struggles to come to terms with his dwindling acting career, while his stunt double/assistant Cliff Booth stumbles upon the infamous Manson family. Now, the only film I've seen from Tarantino previous to this was Pulp Fiction. I walked into this only knowing that he's an unapologetic director with a dynamic style, who loves to break the rules. And I'm happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It's ridiculously funny, it has his distinct directing and cinematography, great dialogue, a catchy soundtrack, a unique narrative structure, and of course, amazing performances from a star-studded cast. The characters are entertaining, and the story is original and unpredictable. With Sharon Tate's tragic murder serving as the backdrop, I love how it was incorporated in the plot. It wasn't too on-the-nose, it wasn't shoved into the main storyline, it was perfectly relevant and integral to the whole film if, and only if, you pay close attention. It serves as the ticking time bomb, especially if you've any knowledge about it, and it steadily builds up to the finale, which completely betrayed my expectations (in a tremendously satisfying way). I think what struck me about this is how it really takes its time. While there were moments where I felt like it was dragging, there was something I liked about watching a film where nothing crazy is going on every five minutes or so. That being said, I do think this movie is about 20-30min longer than it should be, with certain events in the middle that definitely could've been cut short, and sometimes the film doesn't quite know which subplot it wants to focus on. But what I admire is how Tarantino took a risk and portrayed certain icons and events in a caricature-like manner, adding to the whole Hollywood "fairytale" that he was trying to craft how he viewed Hollywood when he was a kid. And of course, a fairytale needs a happy ending. In all honesty, the more I think about this film, the more I love it. It's an homage to the 60s and to the old ways of filmmaking. It requires patience, and I truly felt that the payoff was worth it.