Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is warming up for a July 26 theatrical opening. Sony Pictures has released the film's first poster that shows Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio dressed in the 1960s garments. And that is the era the Tarantino work is set in. With Pitt as Cliff Booth and DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, the movie may well be part of the Cannes Film Festival, set to roll on the French Riviera this May 14.
Tarantino has apart from serving as the Chairman of the Cannes jury in 2004 – when he gave the Festival's top Palm dÓr to Michael Moore's anti-Bush documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, in what seemed like an open attack on the then American President -- had several of his works playing there. Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs and Inglorious Bastards were some.
Tarantino's cinema has often been provocatively violent, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood may be no exception. After all, it tells the sad, sadistic story of a 1969 murder in Hollywood that shook the world. Twenty-six-year-old Sharon Tate was the wife of auteur Roman Polanski, and was hailed as one of Hollywood's most promising freshers.
But on August 9 1969, she was murdered along with four others in her Los Angeles home by the Manson Family, a crazy cult. Polanski was away, and she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with his child. She begged her attackers not to kill her, but they were mad men and women whose agenda was beyond compassion or mercy.
Tate made her first movie debut in 1961 with Barabbas, and her co-star was no less a legend than Anthony Quinn. In 1966, she appeared in Eye of the Devil, a film that dealt with the occult. But the role she is most remembered for was in the 1967 cult classic, Valley of the Dolls. Her last work, 12+1, hit the theatres some weeks after she was murdered.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is produced, scripted and helmed by Tarantino, and he describes his film as "a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood."
"I've been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old," Tarantino had said. "I'm very excited to tell this story of an L.A. and a Hollywood that don't exist anymore. And I couldn't be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff."
And finally, we will see Margot Robbie as Tate.
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is an author, commentator and movie critic)