Question:The key to a successful text is a happy ending
The film Once upon a time in Hollywood directed by Quentin Taratino is a rose-tinted portrait of Hollywood of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The story is about Rick Dalton, a once successful actor who’s now watching his star diminish, forced to take supporting roles against up-and-coming new talent. It’s also about his stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth, whose Hollywood career is, naturally enough, declining in tandem with Dalton’s.The story leads all three inexorably towards the night of 8 August, 1969, when a violent confrontation with the Manson Family occurs. The finale of this film offers a sense of justice and hope that proves the idea that a successful text has a happy ending.
“Coming face to face with the failure of your career is to cry about”(Rick Dalton telling Cliff).Quentin Taratino sets up its audience with a sense of career decline at the start of the film, only to have it veer off course. Rick wakes up every morning not happy about a new day. He finds himself in a life that has taken all the joy out of his life and career, which caused him to become an alcoholic to escape his life. While it is obvious throughout the narration, we still can’t help but equation, ricks hatred for his life. He has a beautiful private house, next to one of the well known directors and actors, a best friend who is always there for him. He should be happy, but he isn’t. And it is only at the end where he truly is happiest in the film. While he engages in a lifestyle most of us would be happy to have, he moans about how much he hates it. Starring in the well known show “Bounty law” at the start of film, to mainly doing roles as a guest star in other action series. As Marvin Schwarz, agent tells Rick in an early scene, he’s now officially transitioned from playing the hero to playing the heavy who’s always going to be beaten by the hero. Rick is coming to grips with the fact that he’s been relegated to cameo roles instead of leads, a situation that probably isn’t going to change. Rick doesn’t like that. He doesn’t like what that portends for his show-business future, and, as a man aging farther away from his prime, he doesn’t like what that suggests about his future in a broader sense, which is ,Rick has more chances of being in guest star shows then having a lead in film. From the start of the film the audience is being foreshadowed that Rick will not have a happy ending that, his life will be spent moaning for a better life and a hope for his career to shine like before .It is a life we want him to have by the end of the film, but at the same time his alcohol addiction has lead him to go off course making him forget, what he was good at, acting. Rick’s breakdowns throughout the film and his intense drinking were inspired by the real-life hollywood actor Duel, who had similar habits before he died by suicide. Quentin Tarantino foreshadows the audience that Rick will end up like Duel who also became an unsuccessful actor and decided to end his life, Rick has similar habits and his career is like Duel, this makes the audience question will his life end up like Duel?. From this the audience learns the human behaviour that it is natural for people who are experiencing career decline to feel a sense of loss when they are not at their best anymore.
We notice something very different near the end of the film; Rick is becoming happier even though his dream is still far from reach. Starring as this villain in a Italian movie “Operazione Dyn-O-Mite”, we see a little shine of happiness in Rick. Through the use of close up shots we see Rick happy that the cast and directors are seeing his true talent, “ that was the best acting i have ever seen in my life” (Trudi a young 9 year old actor). The audience also learns about the Savage nature of Hollywood, the promise of a glittering career and then being thrown away when you get older and less attractive. This is what actually happened in Hollywood and Rick’s character personifies that savage nature. We see this from the close up shot of Rick crying and reading a western story about a man called Easy breezy. “When he was in his 20, young and good looking he could break any horse that you could throw at him, back then he had a way. Nows in his 30s breaks a fall and messes up his hips. He is not crippled but has spine problems. More of his days are in pain than he ever did before. He’s not the best anymore , in fact far from it. Coming to terms with what is like to be slightly more useless each day”. This story not only reflects Rick Dalton’s life and how he is not the best anymore but also reflects Hollywood not wanting old and useless actors anymore as there are newcomers each day. Rick also explains to young Trurdi who’s putting all her dedication into acting that “about 15 years you will be living it.” living the life Rick is facing now.Tarantino reflects the truth of Hollywood and the society’s desire for young and attractive actors. Which in reality is true, we don’t want to see bland actors with bland personalities. Which is why this conflict of the truth of the society and Hollywood help makes once upon a time Hollywood the success it was. We are constantly entertained by Ricks battles for happiness. We learn the life of living in the real world and mainly in hollywood. Taratino has cleverly used Rick’s experience to prompt the audiences into questioning the hash nature of hollywood.
Rick seems to succeed in regaining what he lost, he succeeds in meeting the famous director Polanski and his wife Sharon Tate . Which makes the audience anticipate that Rick finally will have a chance to be starring in a famous movie. “I could be one pool party away from staring in a new Polanski movie”. But this all happened by a violent confrontation with the Manson Family. The family bust into Rick’s house where they meet Cliff who is high from a smoked acid cigarette but because he is tripping, he is neither frightened nor absolutely sure of what he is seeing. Even as Tex draws his gun he makes his dog attack onto him.From the use of close up shots we see Cliff smashing the member of mason family’s head on a table and his Brandy(dog) biting off the other member’s arm. Rick on the other hand comes out with his flamethrower and torches Sadie, who burns to death in his pool. From this the audience does not feel sorrow for the members but feel a sense of justice and no regrets as these people were murdered in real life. It is also human nature to protect yourself and family from people who barge into your house with a knife and a gun( which is why the actions taken by Cliff and Rick were understandable). Tarantino’s purpose of this scene shows his deep hatred for the Manson family for what they did to Sharon Tate, her baby and others that were with her. This rewriting of history the most significant murders in US history allows that sense of justice for an American audience to feel as they people killed an innocent woman and her friends.This action scene and the rewriting of the manson event made this film the success it was. Due to this Rick got the chance to meet Sharon and the Polanski family. From the use of bird’s eye view shot, we were able to see Rick going into palankis house, this was a happy ending for Rick and a chance for a change in his career. Quentin taratino has created a masterpiece that has rewirited the history. The real-life murderers get their comeuppance. The cowboy Rick, emerged as the hero who defended himself and his property. The life of the literal girl next door, Sharon Tate, is saved, along with the lives of everyone staying in the house with her. This feels good. Actually, indulging the fantasy that innocent people were prevented from being senselessly killed by the Manson family feels more than good. It feels like justice. The audience understands the reasoning behind Quentin’s purpose of this movie to show If the old-line Hollywood people of the fifties and sixties had maintained their pride of place and keys to the kingdom hadn’t been handed over to the freethinkers and decadents of the sixties then both Hollywood and the world would be a better, safer, happier place. The hippies who were seen as outcasts or fricks , were treated equally and respected then they would have not needed to follow someone like the Manson family. If the people of the 60’s like Rick tried to understand that not all hippies were a burden then we would have seen a change in the real society. In a 1969 Times article, published members of the hippie community expressed concern that, since the murders, they were starting to be lumped in with the Manson clan and becoming targets of hate and fear.
Rick is finally truly happy in the end however unlike Cliff, he emerges unscathed from the encounter with the Manson crew, while Cliff is last seen in an ambulance, recovering from a vicious stab wound. Unlike Sharon, who doesn’t know she just dodged an attack, Rick experiences the profound joy of having thwarted death. The conclusion of the film becomes the realization of what may be Rick’s ultimate dream at this stage in his life: He gets to be the hero once again, but in real life. He helps fight off a bunch of dirty, young hippies, and, via a conversation with Tate and her friends he wins the respect of another, more glamorous group of young people with great connections. We see the gruesome way of how Hollywood works. Rick, who did only a fraction of the work Cliff did to fend off the intruders, gets to be the hero. The stuntman is pushed offscreen with a semi-serious injury and completely forgotten.Rick has even less of a frame of reference than Cliff does about who these home invaders are and why they showed up thirsty for blood. Rick explains what happened to him through his particular view of the events: A pack of wild hippies entered his house, tried to kill him, Cliff, and Rick’s new wife, and he fought them off. Rick’s preconceived notions about hippies are confirmed by what happened on that August night, as is his contention that he is superior to them.
The conclusion of the film once upon time in Hollywood was a successful film and ended with a happy ending of the realization of what may be Rick’s ultimate dream at this stage in his life: He gets to be the hero once again, but in real life. He helps fight off a bunch of dirty, young hippies, and, via a conversation with Tate and her friend. The rewriting of history had allowed Rick to become closer to his dream and finally gave him a chance to be truly happy at the end which made the film such a success to gain an oscar.