‘The Hateful Eight’ is a gracefully violent tale of resentment and impurity
Quentin Tarantino, despite his sometimes rowdy, loud-mouthed personality, is one of those rare filmmakers whose skills as a writer are equally brilliant to his skills as a director. As with all his films, regardless of the strength of the plot, the standout element is the dialogue between characters and Tarantino’s unique ability to tell a story.
There are a lot of negative things that can be said about Tarantino as a filmmaker and as a person: nearly all his white characters seem to be racists and he hated True Detective (both seasons). Perhaps most irritating is the fact that every movie he has made since Pulp Fiction feels exactly the same. It’s like he has been ripping himself off for the past 20 years.
Finally however, Tarantino has created a film which, although including many elements of his previous films, can stand alone as a unique story. The Hateful Eight is a highly entertaining and viciously satisfying story of a bounty hunter transporting his prisoner to a far away town through a snowy Wyoming terrain in the late 1800s. Much of the story takes place in Minnie’s Haberdashery, a cabin in the middle of nowhere.
The film’s cast is superb and includes brilliantly dark performances by Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh (whose performances earned her a Golden Globe nomination) and Kurt Russell. Seeing as a large majority of the film is shot in the same location indoors, the film relies heavily on dialogue and the execution of it, which was on the actors’ shoulders. As usual, Jackson’s execution is perfect and his rage-filled personality on the set is solely responsible for much of the excitement and suspense of the second half of the film. The cold-hearted attitude of each character is also brought out by the cinematography, emphasizing the snowy mountains and fields.
Another key element of the story is the Golden Globe-nominated original score, which is almost a character within itself. Composed by renowned Italian composer and previous Tarantino collaborator Ennio Morricone, the music creates a perfect atmosphere for the violent, hate-filled events that take place. The original soundtrack of this movie definitely stands out among others this year.
The film is shown in beautiful 70mm film in select theaters across the U.S. In this format, one can take in the superb detail in every shot, be it the snowy landscapes or the inside of Minnie’s Haberdashery. The precision and the thought that went into each shot is chilling.
The Hateful Eight is a unique film, and Tarantino is definitely one of the only few directors who could pull off a film like this. Due to the strength of the script, the story never really gets boring, although it is nearly three hours long. Being a roadshow theatrical release for now, the film also has an overture and a 10-minute long intermission at the hour and forty-seven minute mark. The film, in true Tarantino style, is organized like a novel, in several chapters.
This film is truly one of the most enjoyable ones of the year. Although it doesn’t even compare to its snowy cousin, The Revenant, this film is definitely one that is worth watching and will very likely win several awards for its spectacular score.