The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony

‘Killers of the Flower Moon’: Equally Engaging and Important

Martin Scorsese has returned to the big screen with his adaption of “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Each actor gives their roles the layers needed to depict this non-fiction story.
%28Courtesy+of+Apple+Original+Films%29
(Courtesy of Apple Original Films)

 

Considered by many to be the greatest living film director, Martin Scorsese has returned to the big screen with his adaption of “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The original work is a non-fiction book that covers the tragic murders that struck the Osage nation in the early 1900s.

While Scorsese has covered true events in the past, this latest work stands out as this horrific section of history has been left unseen by many. Stories of Jordan Belfort or Howard Hughes had been well-documented before Scorsese. The knowledge of what occurred in Fairfax, Oklahoma following the end of World War I is mostly unknown to the public. One could only hope a hand as steady as Scorsese’s would be able to cover this history with as much care and focus as it deserves. Luckily, and unsurprisingly, he delivers.

A Warranted Length

“Killers of the Flower Moon” has quite a few discussions circling its release. The greatest by far has been on its whopping 206-minute runtime. Many braved the theater this summer to see the three-hour “Oppenheimer” but tacking on an extra 26 minutes appears to be the breaking point for a lot of audiences.

This new historic epic certainly has the weight of a three-hour-and-26-minute film. Yet, it moves at a pace that makes the film’s length unnoticeable, for the most part. The tragedy and depictions of true evil are simply too engaging to leave the viewer bored. Every second seems necessary. Scenes that threaten to become a slog are quickly ended and move to new, exciting moments of tension and deception. As much as the length is daunting, I can’t ask for this story to be any shorter. 

All-Star Cast

As for the performances, the three names on the poster are a triple-whammy of talent. Each gives their roles the layers needed to depict this account.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays, against his usual type, Ernest Burkhart. Earnest is a pathetic man manipulated by just about every force that graces his presence. DiCaprio plays Burkhart like a confident yet ignorant child. He’s fooled by everyone and slowly falls apart as his choices eventually come to kick him in the ass.

Robert De Niro is perfect as William Hale. Hale is a truly insidious person conducting monstrous acts with each step he takes while hiding behind the mask of a saint. De Niro never allows Hale to show the true villain he is. Rather he continuously gaslights the characters and audience, perfectly curating his façade of a kind, old man.

Finally, Lily Gladstone is a powerhouse as Mollie Burkhart. Burkhart is an Osage woman determined to find the killers of her sisters and nation. Even when Mollie is at her weakest physically, Gladstone plays her with strength. She depicts this person as determined to fight injustice even when it seems all is lost.

Scorsese’s sense of direction is just as strong as ever. A sense of dread permeates through every shot. Whether it’s a slow crawl through a dark house or a whip-pan to a speeding car, there’s always a lingering feeling that something isn’t right. Notably, 1920s Fairfax is brought to life with detailed sets and costumes. The film is a delight for those who enjoy Western wear and the vintage devices of the time. 

Different Perspectives 

Some have criticized Scorsese for telling these events of the Osage nation from the white perspective. Claims have been made that this story deserves to be told from the eyes of the victims, refraining from giving the killers any sense of empathy.

On one hand, “Killers of the Flower Moon” is able to share how shockingly evil the people involved in these murders were. By putting us in the shoes of these villains, we are shown how greed and racial prejudice were the driving factors in these horrendous acts. Audiences can understand the truly disgusting nature of this history with this perspective.

On the other hand, Ernest Burkhart is given a consciousness that viewers can occasionally feel for. Perhaps this creates a false narrative that removes some of the anger we should feel towards the real criminals. Either way, the importance of “Killers of the Flower Moon” cannot be understated. It sheds light on a piece of history that has been untold for far too long. It is a heartbreaking but essential tale that should be seen by all.

 

[email protected]

@grahamcool8

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Graham Jones
Graham Jones, Assistant Arts Editor
Graham Jones was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and moved to Utah to study film. Despite his passion for cinema, Graham joined the Chronicle to engage with the University of Utah community and pursue his love for journalism. Outside of the student media office, Graham can be found buried deep into the pages of a graphic novel or lip-syncing to the greatest hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s.

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy here.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *