Personally I think this film should have been called The Wasteful 187. Because that’s how many minutes of your life you’ll spend watching it if you go to see the road show version. The general release version is 167 minutes. I wish I had of known the general release version was shorter; I would have seen it instead.
There is no point in mentioning spoiler alert because I’m sure, unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for many years, you’ll probably have an incline as to how Tarantino’s films play out. Here he has helped us figure out the plot by giving us the number of people involved, and a hint at their emotional state. Really, this is all Tarantino needs as a reason for the plot, if you can call it that. Now all we have to do is wait to see how they all die in some gruesome, disgusting, crimson dripping way.
Yes, the cinematography is sublime. Yes we have brilliant acting by a cast that should have all known better, and be doing better things. There are the quirky idiosyncrasies of Tarantino’s work, some of which is meaningless, some thought provoking and some manufactured, confusing and pointless.
Lots of black horses pulling a carriage and only one white one. Then there are slow motion shots of the white and back horses running side by side together. Close up shots of boots stepping off a carriage. There is a scene where the focus pans back and forth between a woman singing while playing a guitar and two men talk in the background. In this particular instance the scene goes on way too long, and without much significance, and the woman is toothless and chained, blood covered and condemned to death.
I guess that’s the point. I get some of what he does. Needless to say, as you can guess, I’m not a fan. I do see what he can do. He seems like someone who has a lot of talent but just seems to waste it trying to get attention and shock people.
I didn’t get the whole filmed on 70mm thing either. It made the sound inconsistent and of a lesser quality, it made the colours flicker more than seems natural and it made the text of the credits curl up at the end.
Of course the harshness of the location came across. But in truth, I think a child with a camera phone could have captured that. All be it without the poise and poetry of Tarantino’s direction, aided brilliantly by the cinematography by Robert Richardson
As the film went on, the dialogue became as tired as the cast would be walking through the snow. It became repetitive and dull, in fact nigh on infuriating. And as for the repeated use of some words which some if not most would find hideously offensive, it just isn’t necessary. It’s just ridiculous, pretty much how I’d some up this film.
Tarantino has become a caricature of himself really. His fame and talent has almost become as fictional has his films. As a result, and as with anything or anyone like this, once you have a name, you can do whatever you like, and he does. People are hooked.
It is said Tarantino wanted the audience to be moved by this film. Well I wanted to move. I wanted to move out of my seat and out of the cinema. I was moved to boredom.
Mark Scotchford © 21/01/2016