Tarantino's Eighth Film, The Hateful Eight Shows his Dramatic Directorial Flair in an Indulgent Affair!
Brain-o-meter Rating: 7.5/10
In a setting after the Civil War, the plot concerns outlaws. bandits and prisoners who all meet up at Minnie's Haberdashery to avoid travelling in a blizzard. The latent hate, prejudice, mistrust and hidden agendas unfold spectacularly as each character gets into a tussle, a la Reservoir Dogs. But the second half unveils that there is more to each character than revealed in the first half, leading to a bloody climax.
Samuel Jackson gets the meatiest part from the ensemble cast, the best lines as well as the funniest sequence. He as always delivers his boisterous dialogues to the hilt, playing his role damn well. Jennifer Jason Leigh delivers her best performance till date, playing the screwed up Daisy Domergue, the prisoner of Kurt Russell who plays The Hangman, chewing up the character's scenery with relish. Tim Roth does a Hans Landa impression for the first half, while Michael Madsen keeps his secretive identity lurking under a stoic facade impressively. Walter Goggins, the star of Justified, gets ample scope to showcase his acting potential, playing Mannix, the new sheriff with elan and gusto. Other characters who play cameos include Channing Tatum and Zoe Bell, and their parts are short and precise for the screen time.
The buildup and the travel towards Red Rock is a scenic bore, because without that overlong trudge, things could have been much tauter and the drama could have unfold faster. At two hours and forty five minutes, The Hateful Eight is tedious to watch as there is minimal action unfolding for several minutes at a stretch, relying on flowery dialogues for too long. The second half though, redeems the movie by several notches as Domergue gets the chance to show her true colours while Samuel Jackson makes two and two together. The music crescendo is terrific in the twin shootouts and Tarantino builds it admirably well.
Compared to his first feature, The Hateful Eight may miss the mark by some indulgence and egotistical licence but no one can take away the bit about Tarantino's mastery with dialogue and his eye for weaving in tension-inducing thrilling sequences.
A must-watch for Tarantino fans although he has a weak story at his disposal, this time around. A good watch if you can forgive the languid screenplay and the western tone that becomes detrimental to the thriller fabric of the movie.