Three friends sitting in front of the giant screen of a dying cinema house in Mainz, Germany. Two of us (me included) had not watched the film before and the third one is a Scorsese fan, although the word fan could be an understatement, because he is more of a monk, who preaches to eternity quotes from Goodfellas, Casino and Taxi Driver. This blend of two thirds indifference and one third fanaticism sat through the entire three hours and forty minutes of film. Here is a review.
This new film – by the critically acclaimed italo-american director – deals with the Osage murders that took place at the beginning of the 20th Century in Oklahoma, U.S.A. In short, a group of cunning white criminals plot against a rich oil field owning Osage family to rob them of their wealth. Eventually the FBI steps in and an investigation ensues: People get killed, people get arrested, and people betray each other. That’s how I would describe it without spoiling the whole story.
Killers of the Flower Moon is not a bad movie, and we shall acknowledge merit, where merit is due. The acting is excellent, and the photography encapsulates perfectly the dirty, rural and – at the same time – elegant and colorful world of Oklahoma. Nevertheless, God! The pacing was awful, and the main character was not someone interesting to follow through the entire movie.
Ernest Burkhardt (played perfectly to the detail by DiCaprio) is nothing more than a stooge that follows every order spouted by his evil uncle, as if he was the stereotypical half brained lackey of a B-Movie crazy scientist villain. Every time when it was obvious that next action to be done would create much misery and would worsen the situation even more, the main character would just do it. Him changing his mind about his actions after blowing up the house of his sister-in-law, did not felt as relevant and emotionally compelling as it should have, due to the main character’s personality in question.
Nevertheless I must almost admit that I slept though one third of the film. I can not believe that a story as simple as:
- Smart villain and dumb lackey want money from rich family.
- Dumb lackey is ordered to court the eldest daughter of said family.
- He marries her and then kills one by one of her relatives.
- FBI gets involved and convinces the lackey to testify against the villain.
- After changing sides two times and dwelling on it he finally does it.
- Woman divorces him and those responsible walk half scot free.
Tops a story like that is two hours long. Tops. Three hours? Three hours forty? Come on!
Scorsese is not a god. Errare humanum est. I’ll be more than glad to watch another film from him, but I’ll pass on this one if I ever get the chance to rewatch it. Well, maybe individual clips, maybe, but not the entirety of a three hours experience. And before anyone complains to me that I did not like this latest Scorsese «masterpiece», beacuse it was long, I must rebutt that I loved The Irishman and that I would watch that movie again and again.
This was so long that I fell asleep one hour into the film, which infuriated this Scorsese fan (a dear friend of mine) who sat next to me to such a degree, that he refused to talk to me for the rest of the day because of my reaction. He must forgive me, because even though there are elements that I like about this film and I would even recommend any cinephile to give this film a shot, I wouldn’t say that this is one of the most solid pieces of work of the legendary Scorsese. I would give this film a 5.5 out of 10, due to the amount of boredom that it caused me and because I could care less about Leo DiCaprio’s character. Do not have that many expectations for it. I did not have any and I enjoyed just one third of the entire film.