The Hateful Eight
by Ben Diamond
The audacity of Odeon Leicester Square to hold an oligopolgy over the 70mm Ultra Panavision print of the film and then charge £20 a ticket couldn’t spoil my enjoyment. The cheerful on-screen imperatives during the intermission to go forth into the foyer and purchase
diluted syrup Coca-Cola, Malteasers and other treats couldn’t spoil my enjoyment. The wanker chowing down on smelly nachos next to me couldn’t spoil my enjoyment. The middling reviews that I read in the week leading up to me seeing the film couldn’t spoil my enjoyment. Even the cunt who started looking at their mobile phone during the most tense end scene of the film couldn’t spoil my enjoyment.
Because at the end of the day, a New Tarantino is a New Tarantino and nothing can take that away from me. I still felt the buzz driving to the cinema. I still felt the buzz of being in the cinema. Yes, Tarantino may have lost his edge. He’s still head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. His ear for dialogue may have gone. It doesn’t matter. He’s still the master storyteller. And thank fuck he decided to exempt himself from acting in this one, relegating himself to the brief role of narrator. Never before have I been so excited and intrigued by the sight of a single jelly bean lodged inbetween the floorboards.
It’s some people. In a shed. Being tense. That’s basically all there is to it. It’s great. It has shouty Samuel L Jackson. It has some civil war unfinished business. It has a ‘Red Apples’ moment so people can feel sophisticated by recognising
the most fucking obvious visual trope in the history of cinema Tarantino’s calling card. Ooh, and look at the snow – outside! Looking pretty. Cinematography and that. Great, innit?
The Stephen Fry quote (about PG Wodehouse) comes to mind – “You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour.” Wodehouse and Tarantino don’t sound like they have much in common. They don’t. But they’re literary and filmic comfort food for the soul. Fry’s right. Don’t analyse it. Just bask in it.
Over the three-plus hours, there’s actually very little action. Just little doggies, barking all day. Ramping up the tension. Tarantino must be doing something right. Roll on number ten.