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,
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
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
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
Reviewed byJournalist & Author
Bharathi S Pradhan