Once Upon a Time in Hollywood screenplay analysis

We mentioned how to make film analysis based on a screenplay before in one of the previous posts which is Film analysis: Conceptualizing a screenplay. In this post, we will present the screenplay analysis of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) directed by Quentin Tarantino.

once upon a time in hollywood
A still from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019).

The Wild Pear Tree (2018)

1. Subject

The film is about changing movie and television industry in Hollywood in the late 60s.

2. Point of view

The film presents the time period and its characters from a nostalgic and romantic perspective.

3. Theme

Old-new conflict, fame, change.

4. Tone

The movie has an exciting, entertaining and funny tone.

5. Characters

Rick Dalton, a famous actor in Hollywood in the 60s, is an ambition for fame and success. Rick realizes that in the late 60s, as the television and cinema industry changes, he begins to fall out of sight.

Cliff Booth, who is the stuntman of Rick Dalton, is a talented and free-spirited man who lives in a trailer with his dog. As Rick begins to fall out of sight, Cliff has a hard time finding work. Cliff is both a good friend of Rick, and a good helper.

6. Place

The film takes place in the heart of Hollywood in the late 60s, where fame, luxury, and hippies are together. Signboards, luxury cars, crazy parties, and expensive houses represent the luxury life, while the abandoned movie sets occupied by hippies represent the contrast.

7. Dramatic elements

The main dramatic element in the film is that Rick Dalton, who begins to fall out of sight, has to take part in projects that he does not enjoy so much to continue his luxurious life.

8. Dramatic structure

Although there are side stories in the movie, the dramatic structure is basically based on Rick Dalton’s experiences.

The 5 main dramatic events in the film are:

  • A famous producer offers Rick Dalton to be featured in Italian films. Rick doesn’t want to accept this offer. He wants to be successful in Hollywood.
  • Rick gets depressed and starts to drink a lot.
  • Rick continues to work in TV series, but he cannot avoid his decline with the change of industry.
  • Rick agrees to be in Italian movies, lives in Italy for a while and marries an Italian woman there.
  • When Rick returns to his home in Hollywood, he is attacked by the hippies. Rick, who got rid of the hippies, gets the chance to meet the wife of one of the favorite directors of the time who is his neighbor.

Note: This kind of evaluation of films ceauses primitive, superficial and categorical results. For this reason, this analysis does not qualify as criticism or review.

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