The vast emptiness of Wyoming is the setting for The Hateful Eight with the only sign of life being a few trees peeking out of knee-deep snow.
The movie opens and closes with the shot of a snow-covered Jesus on the cross. Is it symbolic of the suffering or righting the wrongs through the ultimate sacrifice…we may never know.
There are longish dialogues, scenes with humor where none is imaginable, well-defined characters, a strong woman character and some surprises in the acting department.
The DJ Director comes back after Django Unchained with a movie set in a similar context.
Apart from Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tarantino regulars Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Samuel L Jackson, there is the dynamic Walter Goggins as well. Tarantino sure knows how to write his characters. And the best of them all is Ennio Morricone’s original score!
The movie works on different levels. On the face of it, it is a suspense thriller with characters whose identities are unknown. It is also a commentary on the aftermath of the American Civil War. Set in the 1870s, the background of the conflict between the Union and the rebel Confederate States Lower South plays an important part in the storyline and somehow each of the 8 characters are connected to the war.
It is easy to follow the plot though the chapter system is adopted in this movie too.
Overall, it is a movie for those who like retelling of history, action, close-up boot shots, horses in slow motion, and of course, there were guns and bullets flying all around! 😉
There’s a lot of Agatha Christie and Ten Little Niggers/And Then There Were None albeit with a lot of action than Agatha Christie would’ve ever imaged!
There isn’t a better medium than films to employ artistic freedom to right historical wrongs. And there are no directors better than Tarantino at ‘character assassination!’