Quentin Tarantino’s fiction is out of the world (Spoiler Alert)
I went to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the other day. I turned away from as many reviews as I could before seeing the movie. I wanted to be as unspoiled as possible. That said, I'm about to spoil the hell out of this movie and any other Quentin Tarantino movie I refer to in this review. If you don't want to know the ending, stop now.
There is a lot to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but I want to focus on the ending. The Tate Labianca Murders happened before I was born, but I knew about it from as long as I can remember. I learned about the White Album in middle school, I read Helter Skelter in high school, in college I read every book I could find about the Manson Family, even had the Manson album that was re-released on CD. I know I'm not alone in this pattern.
Toward the end of the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood I tried to think of myself, which of these things happened and what didn't? The third act is a time line of the day of the murders. I was wondering when the timeline was going to divert from the real timeline, which is strange in retrospect because the characters of Cliff Booth and Rick Dalton, totally fictional are a main thread of this scene.
In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the Tate Labianca Murders do not happen. The Manson Family members, Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins start the night out at Rick's house, because Rick yelled at them. The night goes wrong for the Manson Family from here, saving Sharon Tate and her friends from their fate in our world.
Using the title Once Upon a Time in Hollywood invokes this is a fairy tale, Quentin Tarantino is clear that his movies are fiction. He compares Cliff Booth to Dracula in an interview. I think this story is not just fictional, but it actually happens in another universe.
Lets be clear, not every fictional stories happen in another universe. There are plenty of works of fiction take place in our universe. If you can assume that the physical laws and history are the same, that fiction happens in this universe. If you look at a movie like A Few Good Men, you assume that movie takes place in a world where everything else is the same. A movie like the English Patient fictionalizes the life of someone who lived in this world, but we can assume everything else is the same. A TV show like West Wing or 24 takes place in another universe where the President of the US is different.
I know lots of people hate the idea of the Multiverse. They want to think about all movies take place in the world, to they point they want to figure out how Cars takes place in this world.
I think the idea of stories taking place outside of our universe is a freeing idea. It is something we should embrace as movie viewers.
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