<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, James Parks
Running Time: 2 hours 47 minutes
Quentin Tarantino films are unique. He’s one of the few directors left who has a signature style and a tone of voice that runs through all his films that makes them exceptional.
In The Hateful Eight you are transported to a time when horse-driven stagecoaches rode the land and everyone had a pistol. Somewhere in a snowy place in America a bounty hunter called John ‘The Hangman’ Ruth (Kurt Russell) is carrying his precious ‘alive’ cargo: a one miss Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), leader of a notorious and deadly gang. On the way, they pick up another bounty hunter stranded in the wilderness. His name is Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L Jackson) and he has a letter from President Abraham Lincoln. This was after the Civil War of course. But John is suspicious of everyone since his bounty is worth a lot. He even cuffs the future Sheriff of Red Rock, Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins) who is going to give him his reward.
They all end up at Minnie’s Haberdashery (seller of goods and wares) where some other guests are also holed up seeking shelter from a snowstorm. There’s the mysterious Joe Gage (Michael Madsen) sitting in the back, the hangman Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth) sitting with old General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). And taking care of the place while Minnie is away is Bob ‘The Mexican’ (Demian Bichir). A weird ensemble of characters that ably keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat. Because Tarantino makes sure you suspect everyone and wonder what is to occur next.
There’s lots of that colourful colloquial language from the period intertwined with heaps of violence – yes even against miss Daisy, who ain’t no lady! – and plenty of racist banter, which is merely to evoke a sense of the times and create tension.
The Hateful Eight takes place mainly in one place: the ramshackle cabin with the door that needs to be nailed shut every time it is opened. Little quirky things like this add to the delightfulness of the film and give you a chuckle as the intrigue builds up.
There’s another actor in the film that I haven’t mentioned in the ‘starring’ section above simply because it’s a surprise and should be kept that way.
If you want to watch a fun, unabashedly impudent and masterfully crafted film then head on down and watch The Hateful Eight.