Thursday, December 31, 2015

My issues with the treatment of Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight

By Sati. Thursday, December 31, 2015 , ,
(spoilers!)

The Hateful Eight, Tarantino's eight movie, is a fine film. While it is too long and it's last 60 minutes are significantly better than the first 100, it's still a fine film. It will keep you entertained, it has moments of sheer brilliance (Daisy playing on the guitar comes to mind) and good performances by talented actors, with Leigh stealing the show and Channing Tatum yet again delivering very strong work in spite of short screentime. In spite of a very long running time - nearly 3 hours - the film is never boring. In fact parts of it are really masterful.

Here's the thing, though - for me Tarantino peaked with Jackie Brown. Pulp Fiction may be my favorite of his, but Jackie Brown is by far the most mature movie and script. After Jackie Brown Tarantino descended into a pit of making a movies he would probably love to watch himself, movies filled with him fanboying over lots of stuff and paying homages as often as he can. So we got two parts of Kill Bill, Death Proof, Tarantino rewriting history in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. All, except for Death  Proof, good and fun movies. But neither of them on the level of Jackie Brown or what came before it.

Tarantino's films post-Jackie feel different. They don't even feel like movies but a spectacle of Tarantino having fun for 2-3 hours. They are filled with caricatures, gimmicks and lack emotional impact Tarantino's previous films had. They feel less real, the characters being larger than life and the stories resembling something you can find in comic books. I'm not saying these films aren't awesome - I adore Inglourious Basterds and Kill Bill films and at the very least Django brought with it terrific work from Waltz. But I miss 90's Tarantino.

There is a terrific little movie from 2015 which I praised extensively everywhere that I could - Bone Tomahawk -Tarantino also praised the film, including him on his top 10 of 2015 list. When I was watching this movie the first 3/4 of it reminded me so much of what Tarantino's lines used to be - they were always clever and funny but there was also something human about the way his characters talked. His characters felt real. In the last few years his characters feel like simply characters in movies., not people who could actually exist.

The Hateful Eight is another step farther from 90's Tarantino - this time Tarantino fancied to tell a little bit of Agatha Christie meets western story and so he did. The mystery is here, the tension is here, witty lines are also here. But it's yet again Tarantino staging a movie out of homages and larger than life situations and characters.

There is something, however, that distinguishes The Hateful Eight from Tarantino's other seven films: for me, this time, he went too far.

Here is my main problem with The Hateful Eight - the level of violence and humiliation directed at Jennifer Jason Leigh's character is ridiculous. It is also played for laughs. I get that Tarantino paints all those characters as pretty much equally vile people. I get that Daisy is supposed to be a murderer and she took people's lives. One of the many mistakes Tarantino does here, though, is not telling us exactly what Daisy did. Not painting her as a vile creature he just assumes we see when we look at her instead of having us learn all the gruesome details is a mistake.

Who is the primary audience for Tarantino's movies? Males. Especially young males. Now I highly doubt that adolescent boys who love Tarantino for all the swear words and violence will ponder about the fact that Tarantino is making Daisy equal to the males so the violence in the director's mind is justified. They are gonna see petite Leigh getting repeatedly hit in the face and think to themselves that this is "fucking awesome" and that "the bitch got what she deserved".

Tarantino is one of the most well known, influential directors on the planet. I cannot remember the last time a director of such influence had scenes of a woman being mercilessly beaten up for a comic relief. And the men are painted to be hero protagonists!  Or at least better than Daisy, the bitch who is supposed to hang. We are told that there is a plan to help her escape so she is made out to be the main villain in the movie. But who can blame a woman for trying to escape her captor? Yet again, Tarantino not showing us or at least telling us what Daisy did while he goes into such detail when it comes to deeds committed by the men in the movie was such a failure on his part.

People say about this movie that there was really no issue with gender because the characters are equal. But they aren't equal. And you cannot just erase gender. Especially when all the other female characters are also brutally treated. This isn't Kill Bill where we had at least one good female character kicking ass or Death Proof with all those fighting ladies. This is the movie where all of the female characters die by the hand of a male. Normally this would not be an issue in itself. But add to that the brutalization of a female character happening for comic relief? Oh, it's a big issue then.

That Tarantino's agenda was not misogynistic doesn't prevent the movie from having an effect on misogynistic society. In fact it has nothing to do with director's intent- the film's images of extreme violence directed at female character speak louder than whatever agenda or vision Tarantino had. I'm sure Tarantino and Leigh thought that in that final scene a cackling witch is being hanged. But if Tarantino thought that the script he wrote, the lines we hear and the events we see were enough to justify beating up a woman and showing her brutal hanging and for us to cheer about the triumph of the last two males standing, he has miscalculated greatly.

I do think that blaming Tarantino for gun violence in real world, which happens pretty much every single time a young person shoots people, is a stretch. But he is acting irresponsibly to have scenes of such violence directed at a woman in a movie that is gonna get released in this misogynistic world. Leigh gets repeatedly physically abused, she gets blood spat on her, brains of her brother splattered on her face and in the end she is hang as males, one of them more likely than not, a rapist, laugh and come off as heroes of this story. I truly feel that this time Quentin Tarantino crossed the line. By a very significant margin.

In no way am I calling Tarantino misogynistic. Neither does Sasha Stone, exactly, who wrote a brilliant piece on this issue. Jennifer Jason Leigh herself said that he isn't and in her mind her character is tough - this is not something I am denying either. I am however calling Tarantino extremely irresponsible. As a woman who gets frightened every single time she passes a large group of males on the street after dark, the issue of Tarantino unleashing scenes of a chained woman beaten up by male protagonists painted out to be heroes is, for me, far more pressing and important than his insistence of using the N word so prominently in this day and age.This isn't Irreversible where even Gaspar Noe showed the rapist to be despicable or any other movie where a woman is abused because there, in those other films, the abusers aren't shown to be heroes. Which brings me to another point -

My other issue is the story Samuel L. Jackson's character is telling at one point of the movie. It's the most disgusting thing in Tarantino's movie yet. I had no issue with rape in Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill because the people who committed it were villains and got punished. But I take issue with it here - because clearly Jackson's character is supposed to be one of the heroes of the story. Yes, you will tell me that 'come on no one is supposed to be a hero'. But Jackson's character is shown to be smart, cunning, resourceful, someone who honors the wishes of the dead man who saved his life. If Tarantino is taking sides, it's clear he is on his.

It's possible the character was lying, since he lied about the letter, but this is never clarified for the audience. When you have a character that is supposed to be a hero talk about raping someone and then you don't clarify that he lied, you risk alienating the audience. And Tarantino certainly alienated me. If Tarantino has a character talk of a crime this vile he should have clarify it afterwards - either it was truth or it was a lie. Since he didn't, I found the character revolting, which in effect turned the ending into something revolting - a rapist, whose crime we saw, is laughing as a female, whose crime we didn't see, is hang. There is just something so wrong about that ending.

I see that majority of people assumed the character was lying but here's the thing - he later gets shot in the groin. And given Tarantino's fondness for irony I figured that actually makes his story more real - the rapist got shot in the balls as punishment for his crime. At the very least that script needed more work. I feel it is ambiguous in the parts it shouldn't be ambiguous in at all. While there is a lot of good in the script - the flashback chapter is a little masterpiece that took me right to 90's Tarantino and Channing Tatum's work there was exceptional - he sabotages his own work by not being literal where a shade of doubt is enough to cloud the entire film.

I should have had reasons to hate Daisy. I should have been told if Samuel L. Jackson's character is a rapist or not. Why not swap the roles here - have a flashback of Daisy doing something revolting, not someone who is supposed to be a person the audience roots for. Clear both of those issues and it's a fantastic script. There is a difference between ambiguity that adds to the character and ambiguity that makes it impossible to feel for a character in a way the filmmaker intended or at least the way that makes the movie work. Did Tarantino really think witty lines said by sassy character are gonna be enough to make rape funny? Did he really think eliciting an inappropriate laughter from audience is more important than making things clear? Was that story really worth risking to derail the entire film? Was he even aware that this could happen or was he chuckling manically and patting himself on the back for coming up with it? With both of those issues it ruins the entire film while making Tarantino look incompetent and his script appear very, very flawed.

I feel Tarantino lost touch with the real world. Both when it comes to how fake his films from the last 15 years feel and both for what effect his movies may have on the impressionable young audience. As an artist he should have freedom. But as an influential filmmaker he also has responsibility. When I saw the movie I didn't feel outraged or horrified because of what I was seeing on the screen. But I felt outraged and horrified at the glee with which Tarantino was showing every single punch Daisy takes, the close ups of her bloodied face and broken teeth. If you choose to show something like that, you cannot do that without a message. You cannot do that if you don't condemn it. And Tarantino was too busy having his silly, cinematic fun to notice that.

Now don't get me wrong. While watching the movie I enjoyed most of it. But for the first time in 2015 I was absolutely puzzled with what the hell was the director trying to achieve here. And the more I think about it the more I think he didn't actually want to achieve anything. He just wanted to have a character tell a 'funny' story and just wanted a female-villain character hang in the end with two men left waiting to die in some sort of a homage to The Thing. That's it. But when you are a filmmaker, when you show people a bloodied woman getting brutalized, you better have more reason to do so than just because you want to.


40 comments:

  1. Great post. I haven't seen the film yet, I will on Monday, but it shocks me Tarantino wouldn't show any of her back story or anything she's done to be marked "the worst." Seems like a massive oversight when he normally covers his bases.

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    1. Well she does awful stuff in the film but then again everyone else do too. And we don't know the circumstances surrounding her crimes before the film's events which is just bizarre considering these are the basis for her getting hit in the face several times during the first hour of the movie

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    2. Well, not really. She gets hit for provoking them. She calls the person who is choosing not to kill her "dumb, lacking in the brains department" for not killing her. Umm...

      Also, the whole film I never knew how to feel about her. I personally felt bad for her at times and sided with her. I was far from cheering at the end of the film; it made me feel weird.

      She lost the most points for me when she let John die. He was the only one determined on keeping her alive. I felt he was only mean when she was mean to him. When she let him die, I knew she was fucked.

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    3. Its not the basis for her getting hit several times! Don't forget how much she provoked them! (You can tell especially by the way she laughs after getting hit).

      I wouldnt call someone "lacking in the brains department" for not killing me if I didnt want to get hit.

      As far as Daisy goes, although two characters were cheering at the end, i wasn't. My opinion about her flip flopped all throughout the movie, and I never knew which side I was on. The end was very shocking for me.

      Really, when Daisy failed to prevent John from dieing, I knew she was doomed. He was the only one who really cared about keeping her alive.

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    4. "provoking them" doesn't justify Tarantino using violence against woman as a running gag.

      John was only keeping her alive so that he could hang her when the blizzard passes.

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  2. I won't be watching this, I have an issue with Tarantino films and it seems he has an issue with women. You have to wonder, at his age why he's never been married or even in a serious relationship.

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    1. His personal life is not my business but him putting stuff like that out there for easily influenced ,as the two comments below show, morons certainly is.

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  3. Fuck retarded feminazis.

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  4. Another ignorant cunt has spoken.

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    1. Normally I don't publish comments from Anonymous even though as you can see it's riveting stuff but thank you so much for proving my point here. This ladies and gentlemen is one of Tarantino's key demographics in action after seeing the movie. What miraculous effects on its behavior the film had, evidently.

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    2. Sati...haters gon' hate...but their spinelessness is proven in the Anonymousness.

      Ef em'

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  5. Fantastic post. For me, JJL was by far best in show, even though she deserved much better than what Tarantino gave her. All of the abuse against her, plus the fact that she is made out to be the worst of the 8, but doesn't get her own backstory, it's a big problem with the film. I like what you said about SLJ's story as well, I think you made some great points about that. I'm planning on rewatching the film at some point, and I'll keep all of what you wrote here in mind while watching. Seeing those two awful comments above just brings home the points you've made too.

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    1. Thanks so much! Yeah all he needed here was a backstory. Even if John Ruth merely went into detail while talking about Daisy would be helpful. There is too much here that was simply implied for the audience. Big things like that shouldn't just be implied

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  6. I have to give out a great sigh, because while I agree with everything you've written, I also have to ask you what do you expect? He definitely crossed a line; Daisy's death felt more personal than matter-of-fact, and I definitely felt uncomfortable. But I expect that when I go to see a Tarantino film. I wouldn't expect anything less, albeit that's a sad thing to say.

    I don't think I can agree with the comment above stating that Tarantino has issues with women, because one of the reasons I love him is he has some of the strongest female characters (love me some Jackie Brown!), and I was surprised that Daisy didn't have some kind of comeback retaliation in the film...that's what I was expecting.

    Really great post...I'll probably quote you in my review, because I loved your comparison you made regarding old vs. new Tarantino!

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    1. "I also have to ask you what do you expect?"
      "I was surprised that Daisy didn't have some kind of comeback retaliation in the film...that's what I was expecting."

      Well, that. I expected Daisy not to be treated in such a callous, bizarre, unfounded way. Or at least for Tarantino to give us backstory to justify this.

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  7. So...I read the first half of this and I kind of completely agree. Jackie Brown is the most mature and fleshed out and human work by Tarantino, and from that standpoint, none of his other works have even come close to it...but it's also the only time that Tarantino relied on a single character portrait (or at least focused primarily on a single character) as opposed to working up an entire ensemble...and it's also the only time Tarantino worked off of someone elses work...a novel...with pre-established characters.

    Still, I think Inglourious Basterds is his best film...ever so slightly over Pulp Fiction...even if neither is his most mature.

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    1. "it's also the only time Tarantino worked off of someone elses work...a novel...with pre-established characters."

      I think that this is the key. I don't know what he is doing lately but I'm certainly not a fan of this new one or where it's all headed.

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  8. Good stuff Sati! We've talked about this a bit and you know how I feel. Not a big fan of QT and The Hateful Eight highlights some of his deficiencies as a storyteller (deficiencies that often get passes because people love his style). I think the guy is in love with his style to the point of forcing it on every picture. I think the ridiculous abuse of the Daisy character is a part of that.

    Let me say this, I wouldn't have an issue with it if there were some meaningful commentary attached.Instead it almost works as a running gag. (SPOILERS)...Punch Daisy in the nose (repeatedly), slam her face with a bowl of hot stew, puke blood on her face and in her mouth, blow brain matter all over her face and then let your camera sit on that image while she picks it out of her eyes and mouth. There is no commentary there. It is just QT completely in love with himself. I think the same applies to his pathetically liberal use of the n-word. No meaningful message at all.

    But there are many who disagree with me so....

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    1. Absolutely. This was brought in to the level of running gag and it was just offensive. N-word overuse is also disturbing.

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  9. Hey! I am VERY relieved to have stumbled upon this article, as most critics/viewers do not seem to feel sorry for Daisy *at all* - which sickens me a lot. The violence towards her was so gleeful I could not help but symphatize with her and despise her captor(s). I found her execution particularly terrible.

    //
    Which may be a cultural thing - death penalty is illegal here in Europe (except for Belarus I believe) and most people (myself included) consider it barbaric/inhumane – are the American audiences more lenient regarding the capital punishement?
    //


    Watching The H8ful 8 and watching The H8ful 8 as a woman are two very different experiences – for a variety of reasons. Yeah, the image of two men bonding over their hatred of women/ working hand in hand to hang a woman whose crimes are yet to be proven, laughing heartily, is difficult to stomach. However, the lynching scene was not the only scene dealing with gender/sexes/misogyny. To me, much of the tension in the whole movie came from the juxtaposition of it all – the presence of a trapped woman, powerless, literally CHAINED, surrounded by a bunch of men, evoked all sorts of feelings, none of them being too pleasant. Having found myself in similiar – although less gory - scenarios before (local bars are all well stocked with drunkish middle aged men, ugh), the dynamic kept making me uncomfortable/twitchy for the entire duration of the movie.


    The audience did not share my concerns. People laughed pretty much every time John Ruth punched Daisy in the face, and there was no nervousness in the laughter, but a weird kind of electricity – or at least so it seemed to me.
    Also, judging from the reviews, many people approve of Daisy's punishment. (Daisy's, who was de facto the only character (apart from O.B.) that has not been shown doing anything terrible! As far as the viewer is concerned, she could have been innocent!)

    So, I agree with you in that the treatement of Daisy was

    a) violent - gleefully so b)perverse c)UNWARRANTED d)very, very hard to watch

    and that audience's reactions are troubling to say the least.

    Where our opinions differ, however, is that I am not a fan of your proposed changes to the script.

    (To Be Continued in the next comment - my litany is too long apparently!)

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    1. First of all - thank you so much for this very thoughtful comment!

      I am actually a supporter of capital punishment, so for me there was no link between this and Daisy treatment, my biggest problem was lowering the issue of violence directed at a woman to the level of running gag.

      I agree with this being an incredibly uncomfortable movie to watch for a woman. I don't think it even crossed Tarantino's mind that this may be too much for the female audience. He literally just comes out with those stories he thinks are 'fun' and puts them out there without second guessing himself at all.

      I think Daisy was in fact guilt of whatever the bounty on her head was set for but during the course of the events it was pretty clear her gang coming to her rescue was their idea and she was unaware of it until going inside the tavern

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  10. Cont. :

    In my view, Tarantino has not made any mistake. Everything in the script was deliberate, serving a very specific purpose - changing it would make the lines *more* blurred, not less.

    Making Daisy - aka the only female character of any importance whatsoever - a PRISONER, rid of *all* personal agency was a conscious choice. QT is telling us something important about the position of women in society (both now and then) and – perhaps more importantly - the way they are portrayed onscreen. Daisy has filled in the quota for Damsel in Distress in a true western fashion, never quite subverting the trope. She is not allowed to have her moment, no matter how hard she fights – and fight she does - with all she has. (True Romance and You've got a lot of heart, kid! come to mind – although, of course, Patricia Arquette's Alabama was a different sort of character altogether.)

    It's all in vain however, all the ferocity – for Daisy had to remain passive. In the H8ful 8 universe, where each and every act is sinister, any independent action could – and probably would - make her seem deserving of her fate.

    Had QT showed us viewers any of the awful things Daisy has – allegedly – done, cheering at the moment of her terrible, terrible death would be understandable - excusable even. (?Questionable cause I'm a righteous bitch, laughing at someone's lynching is never justified, not even in the context of a fucking western IMO). This was NOT Tarantino's intention.


    I do not believe that subjecting Daisy to all the verbal/physical abuse, blood, and ultimately terrible, heartwrenching death was meant to ellicit any kind of joy at all, nor do I see how can anyone possibly consider her hanging cool/rightful/anything other than sick and sad. I do not believe for one second that QT wanted the audiences to cheer with the two men that hung Daisy - she wouldn't have spent the entirety of the movie in chains if that was the case.

    Her bad deeds would have been shown in full detail (in the glorious 70mm nonetheless), and her guilt would have been made clear. Making Daisy powerless and abused was necessary in order for the ending to be clearly seen for what it was – a cold blooded, UNLAWFUL murder. Quentin Tarantino may be a lot of things, but he is NOT an advocate of frontier justice. There is nothing poetic about Daisy's death – no glory to be found midst the ugliness.

    There is no retribution, and no justice – ultimately, the representatives of the legal system are even less lawful than Daisy Domergue the Outlaw.

    Is QT guilty of perpetuating sexist stereotypes? Could – and should – he have foreseen the reactions of the audience? Should he have toned the violence down?
    That is not up to me to judge. QT notoriously believes that creative licence trumps all – and perhaps he is right. Perhaps he is right to be unapologhetic. It is the audience that should take a long hard look at themselves, and consider the legality/morality of the actions they are applauding – unless, of course, they are too engulfed in their „Bread and Games“ to care.

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    1. I do think that Tarantino messed up the script. Daisy does have a moment of rebellion - she knows the coffee is poisoned. This entire guitar playing scene where she knows these people will die and does nothing is her big moment of resistance. So Tarantino has indeed granted her that. And that is what makes it all the more visible for me that he messed up this script -

      a quick glance at the message boards about this film shows that really no one viewed the final scene as you did. no one is saying it was unlawful murder, people think that this is all great because this is what Kurt Russel's character wanted and that Daisy deserved it. So there is indeed very much of glee among the audiences towards this ending. And I do think Tarantino wanted the audience to cheer in this moment

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    2. That may be entirely possible, my opinions on movies do tend to be way off base sometimes. I wonder, though - what did you make out of Tim Roth's commentary on justice? Because that was the part that led me to my conclusion.
      "For justice delivered without dispassion, is always in danger of not being justice." - the two men were far from dispassionate when they executed Daisy. Although the lack of dispassion does not *necessarily* make the execution unjust, its rightfulness would sure make that quote less weighty (pointless even, and contradictory). If Tarantino indeed wanted the audience to cheer, he should have edited it out imo

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    3. I think that more weight was put on what was said later than Roth's words - Jackson saying that John wanted to hang Daisy so they will honor his wish. So what was done came out more like fulfilling a man's they respected wishes than the frontier justice

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    4. Just passing by, but I thought I would chime in with a comment.
      I feel that a major mistake most people are doing here is (as is quite often done, to much harm I believe) identifying what the characters say and think with the opinions of the author (this applies both to movies and novels/poems etc.)
      The fact that people laughed so hard when Daisy was being beat up, and that they cheered when she was executed with no trial - I think it can mostly tell us a lot about the audience, and not about QT. Sure, he put the bait on the hook - but the people gladly swallowed it. I think this is a very strong message about America and about a particularly weird and corrupted concept of justice - the situation with people cheering about the final execution eerily reminded me of the killing of Osama bin Laden, which was not a lawful execution (at least according to international law), yet the whole nation of Americans were happy about it because they were emotionally engaged in the case.
      I find it funny (or sad, in fact) that people say: at least give us some of Daisy's backstory, just give us some reason to hate her and we won't protest the fact that she was beaten up for being rude to the guy that was bringing her to justice, and that she was finally hanged under the ceiling with no trial whatsoever. Which is unfortunately just like the rationale behind the plot of many action movies I have seen - the protagonist's family gets hurt by a criminal, which is why the protagonist starts out on a personal crusade, chasing after the villain, killing dozens of people on the way and finally delivering "justice" in a way that has nothing to do with actual justice. But everyone in the audience is loving it, because it plays well with the inborn human desire for self-delivered vengeance, underlying the ancient phenomena of blood feud/vendetta etc.
      Like Romana above, I find the line delivered by "Oswaldo Mobray" to be crucial to the film's message. The fact that the ending is delivered with such a lofty tone (I only missed the American flag in the background when Jackson was speaking) only shows how the illusion of justice can be created by it being delivered with the accompaniment of the right words and the right mood.
      Finally, I am very strongly opposed to the dumbing down of art for the wider audiences to easily understand the full message. If one wants a simple story with a straightforward moral at the end, they should go to a bookshop and buy a children's book.

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    5. Just thought I'd share the results of some googling I'd done, the following quote is from a 1993 interview with QT:
      "I don't believe in the death penalty. I don't believe the government should have the right to kill people. However, I find serial killers so foul that, in my heart, I wish they could just be executed. The trouble with that is that it's making me go against what I believe in."
      Although he - Tarantino the Artist, not necessarily Tarantino the Person - is, on a gut level, all about revenge (as seen in his body in work), he is not really into *the government* doing the killings, and wouldn't portray a state-administered execution in a positive light - esp. not in a movie as philosophical as this.
      @anonymous: loved your comment! The American flag in the background would have been a nice touch indeed.

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    6. @Anonymous It would be better for an audience to cheer at that sort of cinematic justice than what Tarantino has done here - put those images of violence against women with very little context in it. That is so much more harmful than self-delivered vengeance that at least has some backing in the script you are writing about.

      Right well I'd like a well written movie which this certainly wasn't. Perhaps Quentin should read a good children book to remember what actual story structure and coherent story is?

      Baby steps for him, baby steps.

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  11. Exactly my views. However, I take issue more with the fact that the concept of the character itself, it could have been a man as well, was severely lacking in characterization. I think Tarantino wanted to portray Domergue as a prisoner of people. But the undending waves of violence heaped upon her deabsed her to a level that even the 'helpless prisoner' archetype does not apply. It can't help but feel mysoginistic; A work of a director so consumed that perhaps even he does not realize the consequences of his style. One great and insightful review :)

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    1. Indeed I do think its the issue - Tarantino doesn't really think beyond writing a script and making a movie. He has no idea about possible consequences. Another thing is as you said he didn't even write that script all that well.

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  12. Oh man, your main two points about the violence Daisy faces and the whole rape thing are my biggest issues with this film. All I kept thinking was what has made QT this angry? Like he wrote characters like Beatrix Kiddo and Shoshanna Dreyfuss. How can he write something so vile? I'm so disappointed.
    And yes I agree with the commenter above about watching this film as a woman being an entirely different experience.

    Great post :)

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    1. I don't know I think Tarantino just lost it. He was writing those fantasy stories for far too long and it caught up to his writing process and the way his mind works as a writer

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  13. Excellent write-up! Jackie Brown is my favorite QT film, and I also miss his '90s style. I completely agree about Major Warren's rape story and the treatment of Daisy, which are despicable. If they'd been fleshed out, it might've been a better film. However, I also enjoyed most of the film, but it's at the bottom of Tarantino's filmography for me, barely above Death Proof (which I like, even if it's not his best work).

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    1. Yeah he completely dropped the ball with that script :/

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  14. I agree with this article 100%. Spot-on assessment. I'm actually teaching a film class right now and one my student's scripts has a scene where two guys beat up this guy they don't like for no reason other than they think he's a scumbag. I told the author you need to show your scumbag doing something scummy to warrant getting his ass kicked! Quentin should have taken my class. I totally cheered for Daisy at the end, she was far more sympathetic than Sam Jackson. That may have been the point, but if it was, the camera shouldn't linger on the two men chuckling over the lie of the letter. Or maybe that's the point, too - that this whole film is one big damn lie.

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  15. I didn't feel that the men were portrayed as heroes. Of course Samuel L. Jackson's character is kind of cool at first, but I felt the rape story was a turning point for the audience where you realize he is just as evil as the rest of them. That's why the are the Hateful Eight. There are no good guys, only bad guys. It's evil vs. evil. I didn't feel like cheering at the end. I felt like the ending was more like a horror movie ending where one monster kills another one.

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  16. Anyone else wonder how they managed to hang her at all? I mean both had sustained injuries which probably killed them, so i always wondered how while bleeding out, essentially crippled they managed to get the noose around her neck and have the power to hoist her off the ground

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  17. Okay, good. I'm not the only one who felt Inglorious Basterds was a seriously overrated film. I never understood why everyone thought that movie was so amazing, when it seemed to me like it kept trying to alternate between being a comedy about killing Nazis and an anti-war film about how war isn't black and white (and neither side seemed to work with the other). Admittedly, I liked Kill Bill and Django Unchained.

    However, The Hateful Eight was a huge disappointment. I didn't have any particular expectations going in, only the film was a mess. In fact, it was really just a totally unnecessary rip-off of The Thing (even going as far as to cast Kurt Russell, use a soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, and have the only survivors be a black guy and white guy who take a moment to reconcile their differences while they are slowly dying) relocated to the American Old West and thinly disguised as an Agatha Christie-ish detective story. It was ridiculous, there was no reason for a film like this to exist. I get that Tarantino likes to pay homage, only that's not the same thing as basically remaking another film and trying to pretend it's your own work. That's called plagiarism. For that matter, I couldn't even keep track of who the Hateful Eight were supposed to be, seeing as I'm pretty sure there were more than eight people.

    Anyway, Daisy was probably the biggest disappointment for me in that she didn't really seem to do anything. When she was listed as one of the "hateful eight" I kinda expected her to have an active role, except the only thing she seemed to do in the movie was sit around yelling racial slurs (I get that these weren't exactly the most progressive individuals, only that was the entire extent of her personality). As you noted, they talk about her being part of a gang, and show nothing of it. It's suddenly revealed at the end that she has a brother (they could have at least mentioned that earlier, so we know who he is when he appears) and is apparently part of a gang, and we never see any of that.

    I remember also feeling like Daisy's role as the antagonist was taking the easy way out, and there was potential for a much more interesting twist if they were going to have one. The reveal that the guys already in the cabin were the ones who did it was fairly predictable. I remember half-expecting the idea that the killer was trying to free Daisy to be a red herring (perhaps one they're intentionally exploiting to throw off suspicion) and that there would be a far more interesting twist to what was really going on. That of course, didn't happen.

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  18. This is actually very true. Tarantino didn't seem to think of the repercussions. I did think and feel it was unfair she kept getting slapped. Samuel L Jackson's flashback speech was just awful. It was disgusting. I think Daisy needed something similar - you're right a flashback. Things were just left in the air about her and it wasn't enough to know she was in a gang. I enjoyed the film overall -felt like a play - but her treatment was more than questionable. But I don't think anyone in this film was a hero, they were all terrible people.

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  19. Nobody, not even anyone in the movie, nor in any interviews, says that Marquis is supposed to be the hero and the guy we're rooting for. I was rooting for Domergue most of the time because it seemed she was going to be triumphant. Tarantino didn't want us to look at her as an awful person to justify the beatings, the beatings made John look awful, which was the point. John Ruth beating up Domergue was supposed to be uncomfortable and hard to watch, and I don't know how you could've interpreted it as comic relief, seriously at no time was it funny and I don't think anybody saw it that way. If anybody was "clearly made out to be the villain" it was John. But I think the brilliance of this movie comes out of people's opinions on who the villain is and who the hero could be. A friend of mine thought Marquis was simply because he had the first line and was pretty badass in it. I was pro-Marquis as well until I realized that the whole thing was a clever setup to save Daisy, then I felt like she should win. My main point is that the brutality of John Ruth was not intended to be funny at all, and the lack of a backstory for Daisy was for us to feel more compassionate for her, IMO.

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