For a very long time I could not understand why do people like films filled with blood and bloody murders. In particular, I could not understand why there are so many fans of Quentin Tarantino movies. I mean it’s filthy, it’s bloody, it’s violent. Yup, all these features makes his style recognizable and you can say: it’s Tarantino, man. Tarantino. Tarantino.
And then it happened… I watched „The Hateful Eight“. As non – Tarantino and his style fan I enjoyed watching this one. It has its charm. First of all, because it doesn‘t feel like you‘re watching a modern film. It feels like you‘re watching something made in the 70s or 80s. Second of all, I loved the soundrack. Rarely I pay attention to it, but this time I really loved it. It brought (for me) completely other kind of mood. This was one of those cases when music is an equal partner of a good plot, good acting. Soundrack really worked for this movie. Thirdly, I loved the structure of a movie. It has chapters, like a book. So watching this film is actually like reading a story. A mystyrious story with suspicious, yet charismatic characters.
And a story is told from two places. One part of the story happens in a carriage. We learn a lot of useful information about the characters, what this story is about. Another huge parts happens at a Haberdashery. And that‘s it. Only two basic locations. On the other hand, if the story‘s good you don‘t need many locations. However, at Haberdashery we find more characters and we find the fact that all the story we‘ve known so far was actually a bit different and interesting things start to happen.
As all Tarantino’s movies this one is also full of macabrick scenes that are really disgusting to watch. Blood. There‘s lots of it (even though it doesn‘t look realistic) and vomit. But hey, it‘s Tarantino‘s film after all. I don‘t know why he chose this to be his style features. Maybe he isn‘t trying to show life through pink lenses, maybe he‘s trying to show it dirty, bloody and violent as it is, to show other kind of cinema aesthetics. Or, maybe on the contrary, he is trying to hyperbolize violence we are used to see on the screen? I honestly don‘t know and I don‘t even know how to comment on it. But in Tarantino’s and this films defence I must say that there are actually aesthetically beautiful scenes, like beautiful nature.
What is very interesting is the fact how language decorates a movie. In this case, the best language to watch this film in is only the original one. Believe me, no matter where are you from – you should watch it in original language. It gives you this specific charm, that any translation won‘t be able to. Also, it is interesting to observe how certain type of shots make a movie and decorate it at the very same time. In this case, I noticed lots of close up shots that brought certain mood into this film. You know, all these (I don‘t know how to call them) – tricks, features, or whatver, make up entire picture. It‘s like picking up a puzzle: you take great actors (one piece), great backround (second piece), killer, charismatic dialogues (third piece), beautiful music (another piece), these filming and focusing things (one more piece), some other stuff and… BOOM! You picked the picture. Amazing!
What else caught my attention is staticness of the film. There isn’t much action here. However, you don’t miss it, because somehow this story telling, dialogues gives you some sort of dynamic, though completely different kind of dynamic, not the one we are used to see in such kind of movies.
Talking about acting cast suprises (yes, I still find some acting cast choices surprising) Kurt Russell was sure one big surprise. And I don‘t even know why. It just was unexpected to see him in such kind of movie, playing such kinf of character as John Ruth. But with all my respect, I must say it was a good choice. Another thing related with actors of this film is the fact they worked under the condition that not all actors would.
I mean, there is the type of actors who only play pretty or sexy characters, they don‘t take challenges to change their appearance (look ugly, scary or unusual). I don‘t get why they are afraid of it? I mean, if you‘re an actor you should be willing to change, like Johnny Depp does, he changes every time, he tries all these different looks… So, „The Hateful Eight“ cast also played non glamorous characters and Jennifer Jason Leigh had a least glamorous role of all. And also I have one tiny notice: Samuel L. Jackson‘s characters bounty hunter Major Marquis Warren’s teeth look too good for that historical time :). I also must mention cheriff Chris Mannix was a very good character. It was very interesting to observe his evolution throughout the film. And Tim Roth – good job, old fox.
And the very last thing that I enjoyed. Movie has some historic aspect: everything happens after the Civil war (a meaningful war for American history). Plus in this movie are actually raised important racial issue questions, like how black people are and should be treated, who can call a black man nigger and who can‘t if there‘s anyone who can actually do that at all? Even though this movie might be created to entertain us – viewers, but it also involve some serious questions that are still very important today. They really are.