“One of them fellas is not what he says he is…” – The Hateful Eight (2015)

Written by Yara

hateful-eight

There is a director who, no matter what he put his hand in, films or series, the viewer will always know EXACTLY who is controlling the circus; there is a director capable of combining a beautiful clean white aesthetic with the carnage of hot and sticky blood running down the walls and breaking into every crack. There is a director who ALWAYS demands the very best from his actors creating the most intense performances; there is a director that, in the era of digital cinema, decides to make a film in 70mm and it does so relying on a soundtrack that only needs two chords to captivate you. This director is Quentin Tarantino.

In his eighth feature film, Tarantino brings us to the end of his trilogy that rewrote history. Set in the United States a few years after the American Civil War, The Hateful Eight begins on a snowy road at the sound of the thunderous and mysterious soundtrack created by Ennio Morricone, where the bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) escorts the prisoner Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh ) to the nearest town where the gallows awaits. Along the way, he finds the “colleague” Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson) who joins his small diligence. In short, because of a snowstorm, these and other characters end up stranded in a small inn in the mountains. The eight in the title are characterized, in the best Reservoir Dogs style, as The Bounty Hunter (Jackson), The Hangman (Russell), The Prisoner (Leigh), The Sheriff (Walton Goggins), the Mexican (Demián Bichir), The Little Man (Tim Roth), The Cow Puncher (Michael Madsen) and the Confederate (Bruce Dern). Within this small space, stories and plots begin to unfold while the story goes back and forth in time to a point where the viewer can be sure that someone in there is plotting to free Domergue.

In this context, the key word for The Hateful Eight is “Patience”. If you watch this expecting to see blood spurting in the first five minutes, is best to reconsider. Hateful moves slowly instigating controlled tension to the final moment of explosion; the plot takes all the time in the world to build each character, giving each of them their time on the screen. The characters oscillate dangerously between certainty and suspicion, without the viewer ever knowing for sure whom to believe, unable to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying.

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However, only because the apexes of tension are built slowly, it does not mean that you will not see Tarantino’s characteristic carnage; in such an environment it was impossible for it not to happen. Actually, this matter generated some frustration after the releasing of the film. The Hateful Eight was marketed as a Western film with a pace similar to Django Unchained, which had as its main objectives the construction of the Western hero’s identity. However,  Hateful  is really a game of camera angles and non-chronological events that lead to the present; it is, actually, much more focused in deconstructing this heroic image, showing that, the second someone draws a weapon, there are no more heroes or villains.

Despite having a script so well built with SENSATIONAL performances (honorable mention to the always flawless Samuel L. Jackson and Jennifer Jason Leigh), one thing that bothered me was that the “big revelation”. As I said, the whole plot is built slowly, but at one point, the whole thing explodes (sometimes literally) in your face. Of course, this explosion was somewhat inevitable, however, I was having a lot of fun observing the characters while investigating who was guilty and who wasn’t. It kind of killed my vibe.

All in all, The Hateful Eight was an intriguing and singular experience that I surely recommend to those who have a strong stomach; much like Django Unchained, it can be quite indigestible at times.

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5 thoughts on ““One of them fellas is not what he says he is…” – The Hateful Eight (2015)

  1. I’ve got to be honest, I’m usually not interested in Tarantino movies but for some reason this one caught my eye. Great in depth review, and you’ve got a pretty sweet blog too. Are you currently sharing your work on any other movie/tv platforms?

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    1. Hello and thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it!
      Currently we are only working with the blog and the Facebook page, but in the future….Who knows?
      Again, thank you very much for your support!

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      1. No problem at all, my pleasure. Well, if you’re interested, I’d love to help you get your writing seen on Moviepilot/Creators. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail for more info (you can find my details on my blog), I’d love to hear from you.

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  2. Interesting point about the camera angles. It’s something I didn’t really think about, but Tarantino is such a film buff that you know he’s playing with your knowledge of film even as he’s staging mayhem.
    Definitely a different pace than Django but I didn’t mind it’s slow boil. Too bad that it’s pretty obvious (or at least was to me) who the bad guys were – I usually rely on Tarantino for a few more surprises. I guess the sudden lurches into hyper-violence were the surprises . . .

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