Review: Tarantino’s Next Film and His Signature Use of Violence

Jack Goulet, Reporter

The official trailer for director Quentin Tarantino’s ninth film, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, was released yesterday.

The film, which stars Leonardo Dicaprio as washed-up actor Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as his stunt double and best friend Clint Booth, is slated for a July 26 release. Additionally, the film just screened at Cannes Film Festival and, according to Manohla Dargis of The New York Times, “What was entirely unexpected was that ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,’ ….would be such a moving film, at once a love letter — and a dream — of the Hollywood that was.”

With any Tarantino project these days, fans of his own work and cinema in general are intrigued. The first thing that pops into my head is, “How violent is it going to be?”

Many have made that case that Tarantino’s films are too heavy on violence, too gory and too bloody to be artful. Those same people often state how his movies contribute to violence in society.

I can understand both the haters and the fawning fans.

Tarantino’s use of violence has always had some sort of campy and unrealistic element to it. Characters go flying across the screen or make a dumb joke in the middle of it and to the people in the movie, it’s totally normal. The universe in which he creates his films is parallel to our own, wherein such extremes are acceptable. And that’s why I find the glorification argument to be a bit flawed.

For example, in Inglourious Basterds, a group of soldiers kill Hitler and win the war. In his latest work, the story follows two fictional characters who will at some point have a run-in with Sharon Tate and Charles Manson. Tarantino is changing history and making the violence more acceptable by inflicting it on people who the general public generally finds truly evil.

As far as the haters go, they argue that the youth of America is being corrupted with such a twisted vision and that seeing a lot of gore and violence as normal could be detrimental to the development of a young mind.

To that I say, yes, Tarantino uses a lot of violence. However, we as a society are increasingly interested in violence. Ted Bundy’s heinous murders got a Netflix series and movie in the past two years alone. Making a Murderer was the number one show on Netflix and a serious discussion point for a long time. On TV, you can catch shows like NCIS, Criminal Minds or Bones.

While these shows are not necessarily showing extreme violence, they’re more readily available and therefore more people are exposed to them. There’s always the option of not supporting Tarantino’s movies and not going to buy a ticket to see them.

With so much violence in all entertainment, it’s up to the consumer to decide if they want to support an artist who turns that violence up to an 11. At the end of the day, it’s a movie and it’s not real.