As I posted just a bit ago I watched Hateful Eight over Christmas break, and while holidays and in-laws meant that I couldn’t get a post up as soon as I liked, the spoiler free review of the movie is up on the blog, in case you haven’t seen the film, but if you have – here’s the spoilery review in all it’s gore!
Now, I’d like to start by saying that there was SO much to like about this movie, but there was one scene in particular that I hated… well maybe hated is a bit of a strong term, but let’s say I had some hateful emotions.
The scene in question is one that I really disliked not because of the level of discomfort it produced, but because of how unnecessary I found it. I’m talking about the scene depicting Major Marquis Warren’s description of how he humiliated, degraded and sexually assaulted General Smithers’ son.
Now, I understand, (whether it was true, exagerated, or entirely falsehood… and I’m willing to argue either way) WHY Marquis told the story he did, goading the old General (and obviously slower draw).
The tensions in the cabin were realistic given the period, setting and characters. It would have been unrealistic for someone NOT to be murdered given the story’s circumstances.
What wasn’t needed though was for the scene with Marquis and Smithers’ son out in the snow. For the most part I don’t get offended or bothered when either sex or violence are on a screen (good thing too, or I’d never be able to sit through shows like Game of Thrones), as long as what’s taking place on screen serves the plot, BUT sexual assault makes anyone feel awful and we would have understood the scene of Marquis describing things WITHOUT the scene in the snow.
Some may think that the scene in the snow was put there for one of two reasons. Either to show that Marquis really treated Smithers’ son that way, and therefore the audience should hate him, or that it was shown to display what was taking place in Smithers’ mind.
Either way, Marquis is hate-able just from telling the story, which adds to the fact that the depiction wasn’t needed.
Now I get why Tarantino wanted everyone to be hate-able, because in a racially charged film playing during a racially charged time in American history it makes the ending all the better.
There’s a book called Enemy Pie that essentially teaches the lesson of Hateful Eight in kid friendly terms. Basically the premise is a child has a new kid move to the neighborhood and dubs the new kid his enemy. He tells his dad, who then tells his son that he can fix the problem by baking “Enemy Pie”. However for the pie to work, the son must spend an entire day with his enemy, and he has to be nice to his enemy.
I promise there’s a point to all this…
Now by the end of the day, the kid loses an enemy, because he gained a friend, and the pie that the dad baked was, you guessed it, just an ordinary (and delicious) pie.
Now, with Hateful Eight we have a bunch of racist, or at the least, judgmental, untrusting men stuck in a cabin together.
Two of the most opposed, Marquis and Mannix end up unified, and fighting on the same side at the end both because of a common enemy and because after the time they spent together they realized that they had more in common than they thought.
So… was my example of Enemy Pie needed? Not really, did it begin to derail this blog a bit? Totally. Was it intentional? Yes. But was it needed? Nope. And all of the above applies to Tarantino’s cinematic and degrading dick pic.
That’s what spoiled Hateful Eight for me, and why I’m not keen to immediately rewatch it.