Martin Scorsese was recently interviewed by Deadline about his new movie “Killers of the Flower Moon.” In the article the filmmaker comes across with an air of desperation. “I wish I could take a break for eight weeks and make a film at the same time,” he said with a laugh. “The whole world has opened up to me, but it’s too late. It’s too late.”
When asked to elaborate, the 80-year-old Oscar winner said, “I’m old. I read stuff. I see things. I want to tell stories, and there’s no more time. [Filmmaker Akira] Kurosawa, when he got his Oscar, when George [Lucas] and Steven [Spielberg] gave it to him, he said, ‘I’m only now beginning to see the possibility of what cinema could be, and it’s too late.’ He was 83. At the time, I said, ‘What does he mean?’ Now I know what he means.”
Scorsese has decided “Killers of the Flower Moon” is a story that needs to be told in the limited time he has left, and in viewing it, he was right.
This movie is as moving as it is unsettling, showing the depths that humanity will stoop to due to greed and the sickening facades they put up to preserve their reputation. It is shown through Scorsese’s masterful use of the camera, a camera that moves with the careful precision of an artist at the top of his game.
There are parts of this movie that show grotesque depravity in a way that seems to accuse the viewer, creating a difficult viewing experience that causes one to wish they could reach out and stop it. It proves to support the Ivan Karamazov statement, “The more I love humanity in general the less I love man in particular.”
However, along with hate and greed there are occasional glimpses of hope and beauty. Some of the most moving parts of the movie are simple ways that Scorsese manages to convey things seen in films thousands of times, with a particular death scene being so gentle and hopeful that it is quietly one of the most effective sequences this year.
The movie is a monumental undertaking. Preparing for this movie should be akin to preparing for a long flight. Clocking in at 206 minutes, there are moments where the length is really felt. Although there are many things being covered, it seems that too much time can be taken up by the least gripping aspects of it, with minutes being dedicated to things that could have been conveyed in seconds. The movie can sometimes slow to a crawl, and this can take away from the theater viewing experience. However, these occasional grievances do not take away from the story being told and the experiences being expressed on screen.
“Killers of the Flower Moon” is a sprawling and necessary movie, made by an artist at the height of his talent. It conveys a difficult story and shows the respect necessary to really move the viewer, ending with one of the most effective, clever, and moving conclusions of the decade. It is a must watch, just be prepared for the length, while some moments can drag, all of it works to create a profound story.