There is something so fitting about getting the first trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood today (Following the first poster released two days ago which you can see here). As many know, it was announced yesterday that the merger between 20th Century Fox and Disney had been completed after nearly two years of miles of red tape that had to be gotten through. The story of Tarantino’s newest film is about a former Western star trying to reinvent himself in a changing Hollywood landscape, a changing landscape we ourselves are seeing in our own time.
Not only that, but Tarantino himself got caught up in the shifting dynamics in Hollywood. After his former career-backing producer Harvey Weinstein went from most powerful man in the industry to disgraced parasite, Tarantino broke ties and eventually this film was picked up by Sony when it was in early development. So, in some strange way, Tarantino managed to comment on his own career although judging by the trailer below, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood shows why Tarantino has never had to reinvent himself:
The trailer is like a portal back to 1969, immediately immersing the audience in the story of two characters who get to meet countless iconic figures early in their careers as their own careers begin to wane. You note changing personalities as well, namely the more restrained, Golden Age gentlemen that the lead characters act like while guys like Bruce Lee convey a more outwardly showy personality.
In addition, Tarantino seems fully aware of the controversy surrounding the incorporation into the narrative of the infamous Charles Manson Family and their eventual famous victim Sharon Tate (Who is a prominent character in the film, as played by Margot Robbie). While the entire teaser trailer conveys the “majestic” tone that Hollywood prides itself on showing, the final scene of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Rick Dalton implies a possible doorway into the more tragic underbelly of the profession. A commentary on the facade if you will as Hollywood has revealed itself as anything but glamorous in recent years.
It’s quite possible this is Tarantino’s way of showing audiences he doesn’t plan to approach the Manson Family murders with his usual degree of unrestrained, giddy violence. Rather, he plans to use his very style to genuinely comment on the horrific event that befell Tate and her friends. Unfortunately, Tarantino will most likely have to show the event or use it in the narrative as to imply the usage of such an infamous event but not go through with it, at this point, could be tantamount to exploitation for the sake of publicity. Without a doubt, no matter your feelings, this is Tarantino’s most challenging film in terms of subtext and choice of subject matter and audiences will flock to the theater just to find out what he will do here. I know I am.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood co- stars Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.