Grace Gillespie, Staff Writer
Quentin Tarantino presents “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a drama/thriller surrounding the Manson family murders. The film takes place in the 1960s, a beautiful time period for the film industry and Hollywood. Vintage cars, record players, and radios blasting old-time bops can be heard and seen throughout the film.
Instantly, we are introduced to actor Rick Dalton (Played by Leonardo DiCaprio), a famous actor and the former lead on a wild west vigilante TV series. Hollywood has a vampiric hunger for always wanting fresh blood. Dalton is aware of this, but that does not make the reality of losing a leading role any easier for him. Now that the television show is over, Dalton finds himself going to other TV shows to guest star or play as villain characters. He is faced with the truth that his career is ending, and turns to his old buddy, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) for comfort. Booth was his stunt double during the old days of his western TV series. Cliff, unable to find work due to his past, takes up the role of Rick’s personal driver. While they make an odd pair, the two keep a close bond. As in other Tarantino films, he dabbles in violence. The gore in Tarantino’s film is used to create emotion for viewers. The violent scenes stimulate a reaction of wanting to laugh, but feeling horrified by what is being shown.
While on a film set before the rehearsals begin, Dalton is reading a western novel about a man named “Easy Breezy,” who is a horse breaker. Easy Breezy is finding that in his old age it is harder for him to find work. He reads a line from the book saying, “He’s not the best any-more. He’s coming to terms with what it’s like to become slightly more useless each day.” At this moment, we see the actor break down and cry. The audience can see that he is feeling even more defeated when he realizes that this story is related to his current situation.
At the heart of the movie, we see actress Sharon Tate, (Margot Robbie) who can be portrayed as new Hollywood. She is a new actress entering stardom and being seen driving around in a sports car. She ended up marrying a well-known director that happens to be a next-door neighbor of Rick Dalton. Although Tate does not have much dialogue in the movie, what she lacks in voice, she makes up for in her charisma. There are scenes of her dancing around at parties being able to turn heads and cause gossip. Her character is filled with affection, especially when she was able to charm her way into a movie theater for free. Tate is the epitome of everything a young upcoming actress emodies with her charm and carefree spirit.
Dalton and Tate happen to meet in the most unexpected way, which ties into old Hollywood and new Hollywood intertwining in the end. It takes the entire movie for everything to come full circle, so make sure you purchase some patience with your ticket.