Film Review: ”Once Upon A Time in Hollywood”


My documentary filmmaker teacher Ayers Baxter (who wrote a screenplay and acted in UFO documentary Alien’s Secret which was released by Warner Bros. Cable and won the best picture 15th EBE Award) said that film making is not a recipe in which you add a different flavor and cook it to your desire. In fact, true film making is a form of art. The more originality story will carry, the more powerful characters will develop. Authors of all time classical novels came out with extraordinary ideas which were mostly influenced by their own life experiences.


The credit Quentin Tarantino got is that he has introduced his own cult of cinema. His extraordinary ability to weave different parts of the story into one movie is really amazing. All of his movies starting from Reservoir Dogs (1992) got individual screenplays and received special treatment from the director. Especially, the Pulp Fiction (1994) Drama/Crime movie which won Academy Award for the Best Original Screenplay is considered a classic in many ways. Tarantino further elaborated his skills in martial arts blockbuster Kill Bill (2003). He got a lot of passion for late 60’s and 70’s cinema and to put reality to his dream, he wrote and directed Troublemaker Studios Grindhouse double version Death Proof (2007). The reason Tarantino fans impatiently lookout for his upcoming movies is that he takes new fresh scripts instead of repeating the formula. His Inglorious Basterds (2009) was revisionist war movie and take the viewers into the Nazi regime era. Django Unchained (2012) got a sensitive subject of slavery and with an excellent soundtrack remains a classic. The Hateful Eight (2015) was a western thriller and story was based after the time of civil war.

“We are in an amazing age of technology, in which the image itself plays a paramount part in shaping the way we think,”

Says the editor of a journal Projections. Cinema has already contributed to shaping the modern world. Even in the present age, where a large portion of the generation is on video games cinema provided a base for the development of the digital age. Several studies have been carried out to research on the impact of films on human brains. 2003 Psychological Science in the Public Interestreport, have argued that viewing violent media increases both short- and long-term aggression and violence. Watching out a lot of action can actually influence children violent behaviors. This danger could be reduced by a small screen. Cinematic 35mm screen is a more powerful influencer on the human brain than the other watching tools available. A lot of major criminals worldwide have accepted that their passion for crimes and love for guns developed after watching movies in the theatre. It also depends on each individual and his/her circumstances through which their thoughts are affected. Tarantino’s all movies have a some story inspiration from his own life experiences and that’s the reason he has introduced his own pop culture after late director Alfred Hitchcock. Tarantino told the Telegraph, “My mom took me to the movies all the time” because “it was cheaper than getting a babysitter.” He watched violent, R-rated films like Deliverance, which co-starred Burt Reynolds, who was cast in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood before he died. Vintage News noted that the movie’s title is also biographically relevant. It alludes to Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America, films directed by Sergio Leone, who had a huge impact on Tarantino.

Sony Pictures

Once Upon a time in Hollywood is Tarantino’s tribute to ’60s era Los Angeles, Hollywood. Although in almost every Tarantino movie there are dark-minded murderers and psycho killings. Sometimes, the director had tried to represent them having some style and with the help of his actors these scenes carry powerful dialogues and turned out to be funny. This is the quality of a qualified film director that he is able to leave an impression on his audience.


Once Upon a Time in Hollywood storyline is based on true life tragedy of beautiful and young American actress Sharon Tate. Whose precious life went lost along with few others in 1969. Famously known as Manson Family murders.

Sony Pictures

Talented actress Margot Robbie is playing Tate’s role in the movie.

Sony Pictures

The film stars DiCaprio as fictional movie star Rick Dalton and Pitt as his loyal stuntman Cliff Booth and centers around their attempts to move from the world of television to Hollywood moviemaking in the golden age of 1969. During this wild time, Rick literally lives next door to Tate and Polanski’s Cielo Drive home, the site of the heinous murders.

Yet what sets Once Upon a Time in Hollywood apart is how the music is being used. Sometimes full tracks play, but often they’re smatterings of tunes, fragments one hears during the commute back and forth from Cielo Drive. Where previously the tunes were often the stuff of “crate diggers” – songs that may have lapsed from popular consciousness and ripe for rediscovery – here Tarantino and his music supervisor Mary Ramos are unafraid to play the hits.

Thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” we return to Tinseltown in a loving, nostalgic, 50-year time capsule. Looking back on the landscape of 1969 definitely offers retro eye candy. But the facelifts to both Hollywood Blvd. and Westwood Village were not easy to pull off for production designer Barbara Ling (collaborating with supervising art director Richard Johnson, set decorator Nancy Haigh, and supervising location manager Richard Schuler).

“It’s getting harder to shoot period in LA because of what they tear down,” said Ling, who previously did a ’60s LA makeover for Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” “LA was never a preservation city, and they keep tearing down these glass towers. But LA has always been about rebuilding itself. They say it’s even tougher to find little corners to build facades on top of.”

To secure the rights to distribute the film, Sony Pictures had to agree to Tarantino’s demands, which included “a $95 million production budget, final cut and ‘extraordinary creative controls'”, plus 25% of first dollar gross.

  • Sony Pictures
  • Indie Wire
  • Hollywood Reporter
  • Vintage News