Quentin Tarantino’s Last Hurrah

Ayman Ahmer

“All right ramblers, let’s get rambling!” It’s time to give Quentin Tarantino the kudos he well and truly deserves. In light of the master director’s tenth and final film, Impact’s Ayman Ahmer reflects on an illustrious career in Hollywood. The closing chapter of the Tarantino universe is on the horizon…

In recent weeks, reports have suggested that Tarantino’s final film will be set in 1977. The Movie Critic (suspected title) is said to have a strong female lead at the centre of the project. While many fans speculated that this would be a biopic based on the life of New York film writer Pauline Kael, Tarantino shut down the rumours. As usual, he is keen to keep the plot line very much under wraps. However, the prospect of having a Tarantino-styled biopic, set in the 1970s, would be thrilling to say the least.  

Tarantino broke barriers in recreating the world he grew up in

In his latest film, Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood (2019), the artful director placed audiences in a time machine heading back to 1960s Los Angeles. According to Tarantino, this was his best movie to date. While this is open to opinion, there is real credibility to this argument. From a visual standpoint, Tarantino broke barriers in recreating the world he grew up in.

The way in which he will reinvent the 1970s for the big screen is arguably the most compelling component of this new project. There are multiple directions that Tarantino could take this in. Will we, perhaps, see buddies Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth return a decade later? If this truly is Tarantino’s final film, queues for auditions will be a mile-long with actors begging to work for the icon. And undoubtedly as his last film, it will be his most scrutinised.

From the powerful delivery of Ezekiel 25:17 in Pulp Fiction (1994) to the tension-filled basement shootout in Inglorious Basterds (2009), Tarantino has produced some of the most memorable on-screen moments in film history. His unparalleled plethora of film knowledge has been displayed through the stylishly executed homages scattered throughout his movies.

Tarantino’s ability to make on-screen conversations so relatable is his greatest skill

After selling the scripts of Natural Born Killers (1994) and True Romance (1993), Tarantino directed his first feature film, Reservoir Dogs, in 1992. A 90-minute rocket of a film, centred around a group of criminals dealing with the aftermath of a failed heist. This was the finest of introductions into Hollywood. Tarantino’s ability to make on-screen conversations so relatable is his greatest skill. Throughout the picture, the mobsters are seen discussing everyday issues such as the morality of tipping waiters. The mere originality of the dialogue makes this film a cult classic.

Following on from Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino directed Pulp Fiction – a breathtaking masterstroke of a film. Nearly 30 years on, the film is still looked at as a marker of sheer excellence. The sharpness of the dialogue, the intertwining storylines, and the depth of the characters have made this movie timeless.  

Tarantino’s attempt at the slasher genre in 2007 was a renowned failure. Death Proof (2007) follows a posse of women seeking vengeance on a sadistic stuntman, played by Kurt Russell. While Tarantino is accustomed to crazy storylines, this one bordered on plain ridiculous. The film received backlash over the extent of violence inflicted on women. Commercially, this was Tarantino’s worst-performing film.

In 2009 Tarantino made his first war movie, Inglorious Basterds. While the film wasn’t initially well received by many critics, it has aged to be one of his most exceptional pieces of work. Tarantino retells the history of the Second World War in his own unique parallel universe. There are stellar performances throughout, namely Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa. The film opens with a masterclass in building tension, unveiling Landa at the centre of a merciless interrogation.

saying bon voyage to one of the world’s greatest directors is not an easy task

There has often been criticism of Tarantino’s over-zealous use of racial slurs and graphic violence. Indeed, directors have a degree of responsibility for what they produce for the public. However, the direction in which they choose to take their project is their own artistic choice, and there should be recognition of this.

As expected, there is a bittersweet feeling towards Tarantino’s final feature film. Saying bon voyage to one of the world’s greatest directors is not an easy task – especially in an age where blockbuster and superhero movies dominate cinema. In the grand picture, admirers will look back on the last thirty years with the greatest level of appreciation for a true Hollywood legend.

Ayman Ahmer

Featured image courtesy of Jake Hills via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image. 

In-article image courtesy of @Tarantinoxx via Instagram. No changes were made to this image.

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