Killers of the Flower Moon: A Masterful and Horrifying Epic by Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese, one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, returns with a monumental and devastating adaptation of the David Grann bestseller Killers of the Flower Moon.
The film reunites Scorsese with his frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, who deliver some of their best performances in this true-crime thriller set in the 1920s Oklahoma.
The film also features a remarkable performance by Lily Gladstone as Mollie Burkhart. Mollie Burkhart is a Native American woman from the Osage tribe who becomes the target of a sinister conspiracy that involves her husband Ernest (DiCaprio) and his uncle William Hale (De Niro).
William Hale (De Niro) is a powerful cattle baron who orchestrates a series of murders among the Osage people to claim their oil wealth.
The Story of the Osage Murders
The film is based on the nonfiction book by David Grann, who uncovered the shocking history of the Osage murders, also known as the Reign of Terror.
The Osage Nation, who were forced to relocate to a seemingly barren land in Oklahoma, discovered that their territory was rich in oil, making them the wealthiest group of people per capita in the world.
However, their prosperity attracted the greed and envy of the white settlers, who devised various schemes to exploit and rob them of their rights and resources.
One of these schemes involved appointing white guardians to oversee the financial affairs of the Osage, who were deemed incompetent to manage their own money.
Another scheme involved marrying into the Osage families and then killing them off one by one to inherit their oil headrights.
The film focuses on the Burkhart family, who are among the victims of this murderous plot. Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman who married Ernest Burkhardt, a white man who works for his uncle Hale, witnesses the deaths of her sisters Anna and Minnie, as well as other relatives and friends.
She also suffers from a mysterious illness that is later revealed to be caused by poisoning. Ernest, who is torn between his love for Mollie and his loyalty to Hale, becomes increasingly conflicted and paranoid as he realizes that he is part of a larger conspiracy that involves not only his uncle but also local law enforcement, politicians, businessmen, and even doctors.
Hale, who is revered as a benevolent leader and a friend of the Osage, is in fact the mastermind behind the killings, using his influence and connections to cover up his crimes and silence anyone who tries to expose him.
The film also depicts the investigation of the Osage murders by the newly formed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), led by J. Edgar Hoover (Jesse Plemons).
Hoover assigns Tom White (Jesse Eisenberg), a former Texas Ranger, to head the case, along with a team of agents that includes John Wren (William Belleau), an Osage undercover operative.
White and Wren face many obstacles and dangers as they try to unravel the web of corruption and violence that surrounds the case. They also encounter resistance and hostility from some of the Osage themselves, who are distrustful of the federal government and its motives.
The film portrays the complex and tragic relationship between the Osage and the white authorities, who are both allies and enemies in their quest for justice.
The Themes and Messages of the Film
Killers of the Flower Moon is not only a gripping and suspenseful crime drama but also a profound and insightful exploration of some of the most important themes and issues in American history and society.
The film examines the legacy of colonialism, racism, genocide, and capitalism that shaped the nation and its people. It exposes the dark side of the American dream, which was built on the exploitation and oppression of Native Americans and other marginalized groups.
It also questions the role and responsibility of law enforcement, media, and institutions in protecting or betraying the public interest.
The film also showcases Scorsese’s artistic vision and mastery of cinematic storytelling. The film is visually stunning, with breathtaking cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto that captures both the beauty and brutality of the Oklahoma landscape.
The film is also rich in historical detail and authenticity, with meticulous production design by Dante Ferretti that recreates the period setting and atmosphere. The film is also enhanced by a haunting score by Howard Shore that evokes both the mystery and tragedy of the story.
The film features outstanding performances by its cast, especially DiCaprio, De Niro, and Gladstone. DiCaprio delivers a complex and nuanced portrayal of Ernest Burkhardt, a man who is caught between two worlds and two loyalties. He conveys both his charm and charisma as well as his guilt and fear as he faces his moral dilemma.
De Niro gives one of his best performances in years as William Hale, a man who embodies both evil and charisma. He portrays Hale as a ruthless and cunning villain who can also be charming and persuasive. He makes Hale a fascinating and terrifying character who is both human and monstrous.
Gladstone is a revelation as Mollie Burkhart, a woman who is both strong and vulnerable. She portrays Mollie as a loving and loyal wife who also suffers from betrayal and loss. She makes Mollie a sympathetic and heroic figure who represents the resilience and dignity of the Osage people.
Killers of the Flower Moon is a masterpiece by Martin Scorsese, who proves once again that he is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
The film is a powerful and compelling adaptation of the David Grann book, which tells a true and tragic story that deserves to be known and remembered.
The film is a cinematic achievement that combines superb direction, writing, acting, cinematography, music, and production design.
The film is also a profound and relevant commentary on the history and society of America, which raises important questions and challenges about its past, present, and future.
Killers of the Flower Moon is a film that will stay with you long after you watch it. It is a film that you should not miss.
some frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the film Killers of the Flower Moon:
What is the meaning of the title Killers of the Flower Moon?
The title Killers of the Flower Moon is derived from the book by David Grann, which is based on the true story of the Osage murders. The Osage Nation, a Native American tribe, had a tradition of naming each month after a natural phenomenon.
The month of May was called the “flower-killing moon” because it was the time when the small flowers that had bloomed in April would wither and die. The title Killers of the Flower Moon refers to both the natural cycle of life and death and the unnatural and violent deaths of many Osage people during that period.
When and where can I watch Killers of the Flower Moon?
Killers of the Flower Moon was released on October 20, 2023. You can watch it on Apple TV+, which is a streaming service that offers original movies and shows. You can subscribe to Apple TV+ for $4.99 per month or get a free year of subscription if you buy an eligible Apple device.
Who are the main actors and characters in Killers of the Flower Moon?
Killers of the Flower Moon features a star-studded cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone. DiCaprio plays Ernest Burkhart, a white man who marries Mollie Kyle, an Osage woman, as part of a scheme to inherit her oil wealth.
De Niro plays William Hale, Ernest’s uncle and a powerful cattle baron who orchestrates the murders of many Osage people. Gladstone plays Mollie Kyle, an Osage woman who becomes a victim of her husband’s and uncle’s conspiracy.
Other actors and characters include Jesse Plemons as J. Edgar Hoover, Jesse Eisenberg as Tom White, William Belleau as John Wren, and Tantoo Cardinal as Lizzie Q.
How does Killers of the Flower Moon end?
Killers of the Flower Moon ends with Ernest and Hale being exposed and arrested by the FBI for their roles in the Osage murders.
Ernest decides to testify against his uncle in exchange for a reduced sentence. Mollie confronts Ernest and asks him if he poisoned her insulin shots, which caused her to become ill.
Ernest denies harming her, but Mollie does not believe him and leaves him. The film then transitions to a radio show that dramatizes the trial and verdict of Ernest and Hale, with an all-white cast and a cheerful tone.