Immensely enjoyable, gripping and sprinkled with drops of comedy gold. Amidst a snowstorm, a bounty hunter, his bounty, and six shady characters are trapped with one another as they take refuge in Minnie’s Haberdashery.
Beware the following will contain plot detail.
‘The Hateful Eight’ by Quentin Tarantino, this encapsulates all you need to know about the film. As one of the most influential modern directors, Tarantino’s work seldom comes unattached with his name, like a seal of quality. To be plain and dry, it is indeed about the interactions of eight hateful people.
Set in snowy Wyoming, after the civil war, back when discrimination in all its forms was the norm, The Hateful Eight (THE) wastes no time in establishing the setting, nor does it tiptoe around it. Soon all the characters are gathered together and no-one can be trusted. This is where the writing excels and the focus again goes to Tarantino. The brief character interrogations allow the viewer to play their own game of mystery solving, as clues to something afoot are mixed with frequent laugh out loud moments. There are those who will find the hours of dialogue boring, but I found it clever, funny and extremely entertaining. Raising the already teetering levels of tension, the bounty hunter, John (Russell) is looking to collect $10,000 if he can bring Daisy (Jason-Leigh) to hang.
Halfway through the action gets dialled up to 11, as the viewer is let in on how everyone ended up there, and the characters themselves slowly unravel what is going on. Almost predictably the peace does not last, after all it’s not titled ‘The Diplomatic Eight’ leading to some graphic violence but it is never done distastefully. There is a rock solid plot behind the film but what adds finesse is Morricone’s Oscar winning score and, more importantly, the whole cast. Each of the eight are memorable, and, in particular, Jackson’s Major Warren, pulling off a performance that no other actor could.
At over 3 hours in length plus interval, watching THE certainly feels like a marathon, but I did not mind that at all. Ever since Tarantino’s game-changing film Pulp Fiction, there have been many films inspired by his style or imitating this art. Here we have the real deal.