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The Hateful Eight  : Tarantino’s Eighth Bloodbath
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Friday, January 15, 2016
Thriller
Quentin Tarantino
Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Damian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern

Awash with the derogatory nigger snigger by the whites in the cast, the 8th film by Quentin Tarantino harks back to the ugliness of post-Civil War America.

 

The eeriness is enhanced by a growing blizzard, a stark crucifix of Jesus, skeleton showing, with snow blowing all around.

 

The coach to Red Rock that bounty hunter John Ruth has hired for a pretty penny ferries within it Daisy Domergue in chains. She’s anything but pretty, in fact downright feral, with a bloody mess of a face. John likes to hand them in alive and watch their necks crack as they’re hanged in the public square.

 

The blizzard has brought into the coach Major Marquis Warren, another bounty hunter, who prefers to bring them in dead, so you don’t have to bother to keep them alive until they’re delivered to justice. It turns into an un-handsome foursome when Chris Mannix, claiming to be the new Sheriff, joins them.

 

The tension is already palpable when they pull up at Minnie’s haberdashery, a pit stop en route to Red Rock where they must wait out the blizzard.

 

Four more characters await inside.

 

Nobody is who he claims to be, and everybody’s got a hidden past. Like Reservoir Dogs, the suspicion is on everybody, nobody’s clean, the vicious eight snowed in not only by the blizzard shrieking at the door but by the devils that dwell within.

 

Tarantino’s scenes are long, and just when you kind of relax, he stabs unexpectedly, splashing a gallon of blood and pieces of flesh across the wooden floor.

 

His dialogues are worth patiently lending an ear to as they dance around building tension.

 

Ennio Morricone’s musical score concentrates on the background whoosh of the ferocious blizzard with one piano solo of Silent Night as the bloody drama picks up pace. Robert Richardson’s dark brooding camera makes every frame a cinematic statement.

 

As always, the ensemble cast works with Samuel Jackson as “nigger” Major Warren, Kurt Russell as John Ruth and Jennifer Jason Leigh with more blood and gore than makeup on her face.

 

There’s hope at the end of brutal frontier justice. In the form of a letter to a black from Abraham Lincoln whether he really wrote it or not, and the stomping of black and white hooves of the horses in rhythm on the fluffy snow.

 

For cinema that’s brutal but brilliant, The Hateful Eight gets a 4* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Journalist & Author

 

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