The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth!


The Hateful Eight

  • Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth!

The Hateful Eight

  • Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth!


Rated

R

Starring

Samuel L. Jackson
Kurt Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Walton Goggins
Tim Roth

Written by

Quentin Tarantino

Directed by

Quentin Tarantino



What to Expect

Quentin Tarantino’s always wanted to make the movie’s he has wanted to make.

That’s the kind of uninhibited behavior I personally respect from filmmakers, because, more often than not, his ideas are deliciously unique. Sure, from a debatable standpoint, we can argue that most of the ideas he’s a part of are really just reinventions of old-school genre cinema — which is almost entirely true. Let us, however, hold that thought for once. Now, while most of his films are (admittedly) bloodier versions of a classic movie, what Tarantino almost always excels at is his powerhouse writing. Most films of Tarantino’s are deliberately written pastiches, sure. But what makes them different from, say, any other pastiche?

The Hateful Eight, the aforementioned auteur’s (surely not coincidentally) eighth film, has all the answers.

What’s it About?

A few years after the American Civil War, bounty hunter Major Marquis “The Bounty Hunter” Warren (Samuel L. Jackson; Chi-Raq) bumps into the rented stagecoach of another bounty hunter – John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell; Bone Tomahawk) – and asks for transportation to Red Rock (where Ruth is also headed). Ruth is transporting a very alive Daisy “The Prisoner” Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh; Anomalisa), while Warren is transporting corpses.

There’s a bit of a hitch though. On the way to Red Rock, due to a blinding blizzard, the rider and their passengers — now including Sheriff Chris “The Sherrif” Mannix (Walton Goggins; American Ultra) — arrange for a stopover of a few days in Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge where The Hateful Four become The Hateful Eight.

And that’s just the beginning.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

KURT RUSSELL and SAMUEL L. JACKSON star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Hangman and The Bounty Hunter

The film’s almost three hours long. And so it obviously requires patience, for there is an obvious amount of conversation happening through almost the entire film for a considerable set of viewers to give their all to the movie. Let’s be doubly sure about one very important point though: this doesn’t make it a flaw on the film’s part. Through conversation, we’re introduced to the backstories of the film’s initial frontrunners — The Bounty Hunter, The Hangman and The Sheriff. Now one may debate on the wordiness of the film as exposition, but let’s be extremely clear on what kinda of expositions are accepted in dialogue.

For this, we need to understand just how detracting the wrong kind of exposition is to the film’s plot. Let’s take ourselves back to the box-office crusher that almost everyone’s supposed to have watched now — yeah, we’re talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Somewhere in the film’s midpoint, viewers are presented with Han meeting Leia for the first time in possibly many years. And then the meaty conversation starts. Now, most of this conversation consists of mostly whatever viewers already know. Sure, there are other elements explored within their interactions, but what the film fails at is at making the conversation fluid enough.

But let’s get back to The Hateful Eight. Are the conversations dramatic? Yes. But aside from vaguely knowing of each other from nothing but their names and their reputations, there’s nothing spoken about. Tarantino, thus, allows his characters to engage in a delicious exchange of dialogue that allows both viewers to know more about the characters they see on screen, and the very characters to know more about each other — considering especially that they’ve met for possibly the first time.

(L-R) TIM ROTH, KURT RUSSELL, and JENNIFER JASON LEIGH star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

Something’s cookin’

On the way to the film, I bumped into my good friend Bill (who’s now ended up being a staple character in a lot of my reviews; and for good reason). He had just seen the film, and told me something I took with me before I watched the film, and I found myself wholeheartedly seconding his following claim: “It’s like reading a novel”. And Tarantino, being more of a passionate writer, may have wanted it no other way. (I mean, it makes sense, right? He was, after all, writing a sequel to Django Unchained in novel format before he dropped the idea and went for this film.) The descriptive deliciousness allows viewers to feel like they’re slowly turning the pages of an unputdownable novel that its reader would want nothing more than to know the end of, whilst being lost in its universe. Everything else — every other tool — only ends up heightening the slow-burn atmosphere.

The cinematography uses sweeping wide shots to visually describe vicinity of the film’s universe, but Robert Richardson’s framing aims for the little things; those close-ups, a tiny little piece’a edible somethin’ lying on the floor — everything a plot would require to complete it. Editor Fred Raskin (returning to work with Tarantino after Django Unchained) understands fully that atmosphere needs a bit of lingering on, and allows no gimmickry to touch it. There’s long takes whenever necessary, and change in angles only when required. Viewers are thus able to be completely immersed in the world of the Hatefuls. Ennio Morricone’s music doesn’t appear jarringly throughout the movie, but when it does, the tension (already having been built up by the rattling silence in the background) drives way up, pushing viewers to the edge of their seats. The production design is humble, but sharply focused. Minnie’s Haberdashery as a location understands fully its nature of being a modest lodge, but the brewing discomfort allows the art directors to play with the entirety of the set. Every corner is made to come back to for further inspection. Every inch holds secrets and one consistently wonders what’s in store for them in the future.

To Perform or Not to Perform

SAMUEL L. JACKSON and WALTON GOGGINS star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Bounty Hunter and The Sheriff

It’s difficult to choose who really performs the best out of the ensemble cast of characters, but I have my picks. Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins are terrific. They perfectly embody the characters they play, and their performances really shine through, almost making viewers believe they’re the characters they embody. Kurt Russell is fantastic, but it is his “Prisoner” Jennifer Jason Leigh who justifiably snatches his sheen off him. Her sneery sass pushes through, and most of her character motives come alive with her dynamic portrayal of Daisy Domergue.

Michael Madsen in one of his few recent prominent roles is on point, and Demián Bichir is efficient in his inclusion throughout the film’s runtime. Tim Roth handles an interesting act rather enjoyably. The dramatic stereotypes of British people are still in there, but taking all of them in his stride, he gels perfectly with the rest of the cast. Bruce Dern is alright, but manages to steal the show with his mixture of fear and anger while he’s witness to Samuel Jackson’s taunt-filled monologue. Of all the people with shorter roles, however, it’s Zoë Bell who is just perfect with what she does. When she calls herself the Six-Horse Judy, you want to believe she’s the only lady during the time-period she’s alive in who rides a six-horse stagecoach – and that she’s a bit of a badass.

Also, there’s a surprise cameo and Quentin Tarantino narrating. Pretty sweet, to be honest.

Worth it?

The Hateful Eight is not a movie that’s going to be liked by many. It’s slow, features radically unlikable characters, and on top of all that — relies solely on its extreme wordiness to take its narrative to shore.

And Tarantino seems perfectly fine with that.

Just that everything has a flip-side. It’s slow pace reads like a novel that wants to capture you in its atmosphere, as are its words that want you to understand character motives. The unlikable people are simply a representation — not only of the time it was set in, but also of present times, where our unlikable nature has only been shrouded in a disguise that matches political correctness. Tarantino understands the terrible side of human nature, and ends up fleshing out a terrific character study that works like theatre, but has the magic of classic talkie filmmaking. This is the kind of film that is made to immerse, fascinate and haunt. It is unpretentious in its intention and conduct, and pure in its output.

Quentin Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth a great reminder of simply why we run to witness movies on the big screen. And it must be watched for the very reason, if not anything else.

Consensus: 4.5 Stars
Extraordinary!
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us


Rated

R

Starring

Samuel L. Jackson
Kurt Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Walton Goggins
Tim Roth

Written by

Quentin Tarantino

Directed by

Quentin Tarantino



What to Expect

Quentin Tarantino’s always wanted to make the movie’s he has wanted to make.

That’s the kind of uninhibited behavior I personally respect from filmmakers, because, more often than not, his ideas are deliciously unique. Sure, from a debatable standpoint, we can argue that most of the ideas he’s a part of are really just reinventions of old-school genre cinema — which is almost entirely true. Let us, however, hold that thought for once. Now, while most of his films are (admittedly) bloodier versions of a classic movie, what Tarantino almost always excels at is his powerhouse writing. Most films of Tarantino’s are deliberately written pastiches, sure. But what makes them different from, say, any other pastiche?

The Hateful Eight, the aforementioned auteur’s (surely not coincidentally) eighth film, has all the answers.

What’s it About?

A few years after the American Civil War, bounty hunter Major Marquis “The Bounty Hunter” Warren (Samuel L. Jackson; Chi-Raq) bumps into the rented stagecoach of another bounty hunter – John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell; Bone Tomahawk) – and asks for transportation to Red Rock (where Ruth is also headed). Ruth is transporting a very alive Daisy “The Prisoner” Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh; Anomalisa), while Warren is transporting corpses.

There’s a bit of a hitch though. On the way to Red Rock, due to a blinding blizzard, the rider and their passengers — now including Sheriff Chris “The Sherrif” Mannix (Walton Goggins; American Ultra) — arrange for a stopover of a few days in Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge where The Hateful Four become The Hateful Eight.

And that’s just the beginning.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

KURT RUSSELL and SAMUEL L. JACKSON star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Hangman and The Bounty Hunter

The film’s almost three hours long. And so it obviously requires patience, for there is an obvious amount of conversation happening through almost the entire film for a considerable set of viewers to give their all to the movie. Let’s be doubly sure about one very important point though: this doesn’t make it a flaw on the film’s part. Through conversation, we’re introduced to the backstories of the film’s initial frontrunners — The Bounty Hunter, The Hangman and The Sheriff. Now one may debate on the wordiness of the film as exposition, but let’s be extremely clear on what kinda of expositions are accepted in dialogue.

For this, we need to understand just how detracting the wrong kind of exposition is to the film’s plot. Let’s take ourselves back to the box-office crusher that almost everyone’s supposed to have watched now — yeah, we’re talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Somewhere in the film’s midpoint, viewers are presented with Han meeting Leia for the first time in possibly many years. And then the meaty conversation starts. Now, most of this conversation consists of mostly whatever viewers already know. Sure, there are other elements explored within their interactions, but what the film fails at is at making the conversation fluid enough.

But let’s get back to The Hateful Eight. Are the conversations dramatic? Yes. But aside from vaguely knowing of each other from nothing but their names and their reputations, there’s nothing spoken about. Tarantino, thus, allows his characters to engage in a delicious exchange of dialogue that allows both viewers to know more about the characters they see on screen, and the very characters to know more about each other — considering especially that they’ve met for possibly the first time.

(L-R) TIM ROTH, KURT RUSSELL, and JENNIFER JASON LEIGH star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

Something’s cookin’

On the way to the film, I bumped into my good friend Bill (who’s now ended up being a staple character in a lot of my reviews; and for good reason). He had just seen the film, and told me something I took with me before I watched the film, and I found myself wholeheartedly seconding his following claim: “It’s like reading a novel”. And Tarantino, being more of a passionate writer, may have wanted it no other way. (I mean, it makes sense, right? He was, after all, writing a sequel to Django Unchained in novel format before he dropped the idea and went for this film.) The descriptive deliciousness allows viewers to feel like they’re slowly turning the pages of an unputdownable novel that its reader would want nothing more than to know the end of, whilst being lost in its universe. Everything else — every other tool — only ends up heightening the slow-burn atmosphere.

The cinematography uses sweeping wide shots to visually describe vicinity of the film’s universe, but Robert Richardson’s framing aims for the little things; those close-ups, a tiny little piece’a edible somethin’ lying on the floor — everything a plot would require to complete it. Editor Fred Raskin (returning to work with Tarantino after Django Unchained) understands fully that atmosphere needs a bit of lingering on, and allows no gimmickry to touch it. There’s long takes whenever necessary, and change in angles only when required. Viewers are thus able to be completely immersed in the world of the Hatefuls. Ennio Morricone’s music doesn’t appear jarringly throughout the movie, but when it does, the tension (already having been built up by the rattling silence in the background) drives way up, pushing viewers to the edge of their seats. The production design is humble, but sharply focused. Minnie’s Haberdashery as a location understands fully its nature of being a modest lodge, but the brewing discomfort allows the art directors to play with the entirety of the set. Every corner is made to come back to for further inspection. Every inch holds secrets and one consistently wonders what’s in store for them in the future.

To Perform or Not to Perform

SAMUEL L. JACKSON and WALTON GOGGINS star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Bounty Hunter and The Sheriff

It’s difficult to choose who really performs the best out of the ensemble cast of characters, but I have my picks. Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins are terrific. They perfectly embody the characters they play, and their performances really shine through, almost making viewers believe they’re the characters they embody. Kurt Russell is fantastic, but it is his “Prisoner” Jennifer Jason Leigh who justifiably snatches his sheen off him. Her sneery sass pushes through, and most of her character motives come alive with her dynamic portrayal of Daisy Domergue.

Michael Madsen in one of his few recent prominent roles is on point, and Demián Bichir is efficient in his inclusion throughout the film’s runtime. Tim Roth handles an interesting act rather enjoyably. The dramatic stereotypes of British people are still in there, but taking all of them in his stride, he gels perfectly with the rest of the cast. Bruce Dern is alright, but manages to steal the show with his mixture of fear and anger while he’s witness to Samuel Jackson’s taunt-filled monologue. Of all the people with shorter roles, however, it’s Zoë Bell who is just perfect with what she does. When she calls herself the Six-Horse Judy, you want to believe she’s the only lady during the time-period she’s alive in who rides a six-horse stagecoach – and that she’s a bit of a badass.

Also, there’s a surprise cameo and Quentin Tarantino narrating. Pretty sweet, to be honest.

Worth it?

The Hateful Eight is not a movie that’s going to be liked by many. It’s slow, features radically unlikable characters, and on top of all that — relies solely on its extreme wordiness to take its narrative to shore.

And Tarantino seems perfectly fine with that.

Just that everything has a flip-side. It’s slow pace reads like a novel that wants to capture you in its atmosphere, as are its words that want you to understand character motives. The unlikable people are simply a representation — not only of the time it was set in, but also of present times, where our unlikable nature has only been shrouded in a disguise that matches political correctness. Tarantino understands the terrible side of human nature, and ends up fleshing out a terrific character study that works like theatre, but has the magic of classic talkie filmmaking. This is the kind of film that is made to immerse, fascinate and haunt. It is unpretentious in its intention and conduct, and pure in its output.

Quentin Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth a great reminder of simply why we run to witness movies on the big screen. And it must be watched for the very reason, if not anything else.

Consensus: 4.5 Stars
Extraordinary!
About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

Watch the trailer

We’re viral

Like UsFollow Us

Cast Samuel L. Jackson
Kurt Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Director Quentin Tarantino
Consensus: 4.5 Stars
Extraordinary!

What to Expect

The Haberdashery of Madness

The Haberdashery of Madness

Quentin Tarantino’s always wanted to make the movie’s he has wanted to make.

That’s the kind of uninhibited behavior I personally respect from filmmakers, because, more often than not, his ideas are deliciously unique. Sure, from a debatable standpoint, we can argue that most of the ideas he’s a part of are really just reinventions of old-school genre cinema — which is almost entirely true. Let us, however, hold that thought for once. Now, while most of his films are (admittedly) bloodier versions of a classic movie, what Tarantino almost always excels at is his powerhouse writing. Most films of Tarantino’s are deliberately written pastiches, sure. But what makes them different from, say, any other pastiche?

The Hateful Eight, the aforementioned auteur’s (surely not coincidentally) eighth film, has all the answers.

What’s it About?

A few years after the American Civil War, bounty hunter Major Marquis “The Bounty Hunter” Warren (Samuel L. Jackson; Chi-Raq) bumps into the rented stagecoach of another bounty hunter – John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell; Bone Tomahawk) – and asks for transportation to Red Rock (where Ruth is also headed). Ruth is transporting a very alive Daisy “The Prisoner” Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh; Anomalisa), while Warren is transporting corpses.

There’s a bit of a hitch though. On the way to Red Rock, due to a blinding blizzard, the rider and their passengers — now including Sheriff Chris “The Sherrif” Mannix (Walton Goggins; American Ultra) — arrange for a stopover of a few days in Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge where The Hateful Four become The Hateful Eight.

And that’s just the beginning.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

KURT RUSSELL and SAMUEL L. JACKSON star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Hangman and The Bounty Hunter

The film’s almost three hours long. And so it obviously requires patience, for there is an obvious amount of conversation happening through almost the entire film for a considerable set of viewers to give their all to the movie. Let’s be doubly sure about one very important point though: this doesn’t make it a flaw on the film’s part. Through conversation, we’re introduced to the backstories of the film’s initial frontrunners — The Bounty Hunter, The Hangman and The Sheriff. Now one may debate on the wordiness of the film as exposition, but let’s be extremely clear on what kinda of expositions are accepted in dialogue.

For this, we need to understand just how detracting the wrong kind of exposition is to the film’s plot. Let’s take ourselves back to the box-office crusher that almost everyone’s supposed to have watched now — yeah, we’re talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Somewhere in the film’s midpoint, viewers are presented with Han meeting Leia for the first time in possibly many years. And then the meaty conversation starts. Now, most of this conversation consists of mostly whatever viewers already know. Sure, there are other elements explored within their interactions, but what the film fails at is at making the conversation fluid enough.

But let’s get back to The Hateful Eight. Are the conversations dramatic? Yes. But aside from vaguely knowing of each other from nothing but their names and their reputations, there’s nothing spoken about. Tarantino, thus, allows his characters to engage in a delicious exchange of dialogue that allows both viewers to know more about the characters they see on screen, and the very characters to know more about each other — considering especially that they’ve met for possibly the first time.

(L-R) TIM ROTH, KURT RUSSELL, and JENNIFER JASON LEIGH star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Photo: Andrew Cooper, SMPSP © 2015 The Weinstein Company. All Rights Reserved.

Something’s cookin’

On the way to the film, I bumped into my good friend Bill (who’s now ended up being a staple character in a lot of my reviews; and for good reason). He had just seen the film, and told me something I took with me before I watched the film, and I found myself wholeheartedly seconding his following claim: “It’s like reading a novel”. And Tarantino, being more of a passionate writer, may have wanted it no other way. (I mean, it makes sense, right? He was, after all, writing a sequel to Django Unchained in novel format before he dropped the idea and went for this film.) The descriptive deliciousness allows viewers to feel like they’re slowly turning the pages of an unputdownable novel that its reader would want nothing more than to know the end of, whilst being lost in its universe. Everything else — every other tool — only ends up heightening the slow-burn atmosphere.

The cinematography uses sweeping wide shots to visually describe vicinity of the film’s universe, but Robert Richardson’s framing aims for the little things; those close-ups, a tiny little piece’a edible somethin’ lying on the floor — everything a plot would require to complete it. Editor Fred Raskin (returning to work with Tarantino after Django Unchained) understands fully that atmosphere needs a bit of lingering on, and allows no gimmickry to touch it. There’s long takes whenever necessary, and change in angles only when required. Viewers are thus able to be completely immersed in the world of the Hatefuls. Ennio Morricone’s music doesn’t appear jarringly throughout the movie, but when it does, the tension (already having been built up by the rattling silence in the background) drives way up, pushing viewers to the edge of their seats. The production design is humble, but sharply focused. Minnie’s Haberdashery as a location understands fully its nature of being a modest lodge, but the brewing discomfort allows the art directors to play with the entirety of the set. Every corner is made to come back to for further inspection. Every inch holds secrets and one consistently wonders what’s in store for them in the future.

To Perform or Not to Perform

SAMUEL L. JACKSON and WALTON GOGGINS star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Bounty Hunter and The Sheriff

It’s difficult to choose who really performs the best out of the ensemble cast of characters, but I have my picks. Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins are terrific. They perfectly embody the characters they play, and their performances really shine through, almost making viewers believe they’re the characters they embody. Kurt Russell is fantastic, but it is his “Prisoner” Jennifer Jason Leigh who justifiably snatches his sheen off him. Her sneery sass pushes through, and most of her character motives come alive with her dynamic portrayal of Daisy Domergue.

Michael Madsen in one of his few recent prominent roles is on point, and Demián Bichir is efficient in his inclusion throughout the film’s runtime. Tim Roth handles an interesting act rather enjoyably. The dramatic stereotypes of British people are still in there, but taking all of them in his stride, he gels perfectly with the rest of the cast. Bruce Dern is alright, but manages to steal the show with his mixture of fear and anger while he’s witness to Samuel Jackson’s taunt-filled monologue. Of all the people with shorter roles, however, it’s Zoë Bell who is just perfect with what she does. When she calls herself the Six-Horse Judy, you want to believe she’s the only lady during the time-period she’s alive in who rides a six-horse stagecoach – and that she’s a bit of a badass.

Also, there’s a surprise cameo and Quentin Tarantino narrating. Pretty sweet, to be honest.

Worth it?

The Hateful Eight is not a movie that’s going to be liked by many. It’s slow, features radically unlikable characters, and on top of all that — relies solely on its extreme wordiness to take its narrative to shore.

And Tarantino seems perfectly fine with that.

Just that everything has a flip-side. It’s slow pace reads like a novel that wants to capture you in its atmosphere, as are its words that want you to understand character motives. The unlikable people are simply a representation — not only of the time it was set in, but also of present times, where our unlikable nature has only been shrouded in a disguise that matches political correctness. Tarantino understands the terrible side of human nature, and ends up fleshing out a terrific character study that works like theatre, but has the magic of classic talkie filmmaking. This is the kind of film that is made to immerse, fascinate and haunt. It is unpretentious in its intention and conduct, and pure in its output.

Quentin Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth a great reminder of simply why we run to witness movies on the big screen. And it must be watched for the very reason, if not anything else.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

Facebook

Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

We’re viral

Like usFollow us
Cast Samuel L. Jackson
Kurt Russell
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Director Quentin Tarantino
Consensus: 4.5 Stars
Extraordinary!

What to Expect

Quentin Tarantino’s always wanted to make the movie’s he has wanted to make.

That’s the kind of uninhibited behavior I personally respect from filmmakers, because, more often than not, his ideas are deliciously unique. Sure, from a debatable standpoint, we can argue that most of the ideas he’s a part of are really just reinventions of old-school genre cinema — which is almost entirely true. Let us, however, hold that thought for once. Now, while most of his films are (admittedly) bloodier versions of a classic movie, what Tarantino almost always excels at is his powerhouse writing. Most films of Tarantino’s are deliberately written pastiches, sure. But what makes them different from, say, any other pastiche?

The Hateful Eight, the aforementioned auteur’s (surely not coincidentally) eighth film, has all the answers.

What’s it About?

A few years after the American Civil War, bounty hunter Major Marquis “The Bounty Hunter” Warren (Samuel L. Jackson; Chi-Raq) bumps into the rented stagecoach of another bounty hunter – John “The Hangman” Ruth (Kurt Russell; Bone Tomahawk) – and asks for transportation to Red Rock (where Ruth is also headed). Ruth is transporting a very alive Daisy “The Prisoner” Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh; Anomalisa), while Warren is transporting corpses.

There’s a bit of a hitch though. On the way to Red Rock, due to a blinding blizzard, the rider and their passengers — now including Sheriff Chris “The Sherrif” Mannix (Walton Goggins; American Ultra) — arrange for a stopover of a few days in Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach lodge where The Hateful Four become The Hateful Eight.

And that’s just the beginning.

The Hangman and The Bounty Hunter

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The film’s almost three hours long. And so it obviously requires patience, for there is an obvious amount of conversation happening through almost the entire film for a considerable set of viewers to give their all to the movie. Let’s be doubly sure about one very important point though: this doesn’t make it a flaw on the film’s part. Through conversation, we’re introduced to the backstories of the film’s initial frontrunners — The Bounty Hunter, The Hangman and The Sheriff. Now one may debate on the wordiness of the film as exposition, but let’s be extremely clear on what kinda of expositions are accepted in dialogue.

For this, we need to understand just how detracting the wrong kind of exposition is to the film’s plot. Let’s take ourselves back to the box-office crusher that almost everyone’s supposed to have watched now — yeah, we’re talking about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Somewhere in the film’s midpoint, viewers are presented with Han meeting Leia for the first time in possibly many years. And then the meaty conversation starts. Now, most of this conversation consists of mostly whatever viewers already know. Sure, there are other elements explored within their interactions, but what the film fails at is at making the conversation fluid enough.

But let’s get back to The Hateful Eight. Are the conversations dramatic? Yes. But aside from vaguely knowing of each other from nothing but their names and their reputations, there’s nothing spoken about. Tarantino, thus, allows his characters to engage in a delicious exchange of dialogue that allows both viewers to know more about the characters they see on screen, and the very characters to know more about each other — considering especially that they’ve met for possibly the first time.

Something's cookin'

On the way to the film, I bumped into my good friend Bill (who’s now ended up being a staple character in a lot of my reviews; and for good reason). He had just seen the film, and told me something I took with me before I watched the film, and I found myself wholeheartedly seconding his following claim: “It’s like reading a novel”. And Tarantino, being more of a passionate writer, may have wanted it no other way. (I mean, it makes sense, right? He was, after all, writing a sequel to Django Unchained in novel format before he dropped the idea and went for this film.) The descriptive deliciousness allows viewers to feel like they’re slowly turning the pages of an unputdownable novel that its reader would want nothing more than to know the end of, whilst being lost in its universe. Everything else — every other tool — only ends up heightening the slow-burn atmosphere.

The cinematography uses sweeping wide shots to visually describe vicinity of the film’s universe, but Robert Richardson’s framing aims for the little things; those close-ups, a tiny little piece’a edible somethin’ lying on the floor — everything a plot would require to complete it. Editor Fred Raskin (returning to work with Tarantino after Django Unchained) understands fully that atmosphere needs a bit of lingering on, and allows no gimmickry to touch it. There’s long takes whenever necessary, and change in angles only when required. Viewers are thus able to be completely immersed in the world of the Hatefuls. Ennio Morricone’s music doesn’t appear jarringly throughout the movie, but when it does, the tension (already having been built up by the rattling silence in the background) drives way up, pushing viewers to the edge of their seats. The production design is humble, but sharply focused. Minnie’s Haberdashery as a location understands fully its nature of being a modest lodge, but the brewing discomfort allows the art directors to play with the entirety of the set. Every corner is made to come back to for further inspection. Every inch holds secrets and one consistently wonders what’s in store for them in the future.

The Bounty Hunter and The Sheriff

To Perform or Not to Perform

SAMUEL L. JACKSON and WALTON GOGGINS star in THE HATEFUL EIGHT

The Bounty Hunter and The Sheriff

It’s difficult to choose who really performs the best out of the ensemble cast of characters, but I have my picks. Samuel L. Jackson and Walton Goggins are terrific. They perfectly embody the characters they play, and their performances really shine through, almost making viewers believe they’re the characters they embody. Kurt Russell is fantastic, but it is his “Prisoner” Jennifer Jason Leigh who justifiably snatches his sheen off him. Her sneery sass pushes through, and most of her character motives come alive with her dynamic portrayal of Daisy Domergue.

Michael Madsen in one of his few recent prominent roles is on point, and Demián Bichir is efficient in his inclusion throughout the film’s runtime. Tim Roth handles an interesting act rather enjoyably. The dramatic stereotypes of British people are still in there, but taking all of them in his stride, he gels perfectly with the rest of the cast. Bruce Dern is alright, but manages to steal the show with his mixture of fear and anger while he’s witness to Samuel Jackson’s taunt-filled monologue. Of all the people with shorter roles, however, it’s Zoë Bell who is just perfect with what she does. When she calls herself the Six-Horse Judy, you want to believe she’s the only lady during the time-period she’s alive in who rides a six-horse stagecoach – and that she’s a bit of a badass.

Also, there’s a surprise cameo and Quentin Tarantino narrating. Pretty sweet, to be honest.

Worth it?

The Hateful Eight is not a movie that’s going to be liked by many. It’s slow, features radically unlikable characters, and on top of all that — relies solely on its extreme wordiness to take its narrative to shore.

And Tarantino seems perfectly fine with that.

Just that everything has a flip-side. It’s slow pace reads like a novel that wants to capture you in its atmosphere, as are its words that want you to understand character motives. The unlikable people are simply a representation — not only of the time it was set in, but also of present times, where our unlikable nature has only been shrouded in a disguise that matches political correctness. Tarantino understands the terrible side of human nature, and ends up fleshing out a terrific character study that works like theatre, but has the magic of classic talkie filmmaking. This is the kind of film that is made to immerse, fascinate and haunt. It is unpretentious in its intention and conduct, and pure in its output.

Quentin Tarantino’s Masterful Eighth a great reminder of simply why we run to witness movies on the big screen. And it must be watched for the very reason, if not anything else.

About the Author

Ankit Ojha

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Ambivert. Intermittent cynic. Content creator. New media enthusiast. Binge-watcher. Budding filmmaker.

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