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Review Killers of the Flower Moon (2023): Tragedy done wrong!

genre: crime, drama, history

Before I divulge my thoughts, I need to explain that I do consider Martin Scorsese to be a master filmmaker. And most of his films are masterpieces. But not all. Especially lately, he has been dropping the ball. Goodfellas and Casino for example gave us insight in world's most normal people don't know of. He went in so deep and pointed out how dirty and vile these worlds and its inhabitants were. So if anybody would be able to tell us the story of the Osage murders, it would be him.

Unfortunately, Scorsese delivers us a badly told story where at the end of it I wasn't even sure who to root for. Of course, I should side with the victims, natives like Mollie Burkhart played by Lily Gladstone and her family members. But, for whatever reason, Scorsese decided to tell the story from the perspective of William Hale and co. One of them is Ernest Burkhart played by Leonardo DiCaprio. It's almost like the film wants us to have sympathy for this character while he is just as bad or even worse since he should have a personal attachment. 

What I really don't understand is, how we never even get to see Lily express really worry or doubt on what is going on. Only in some scenes, the deaths of the tribe members are discussed, but they seem to be completely in the dark. All this time, I was thinking, why are they letting these awful events occur. Surely, they must have some idea? It makes them look stupid. I doubt they were. It seems they were really too trusting of Hale and yes Robert De Niro had me stumped also. Still, after all these deaths, Mollie would carry on life without expressing herself that much. A case could be made for her, since Ernest did seem to inject her with poison. 

Why not show this from the perspective of Tom White, an officer of the law, who was pivotal in solving the first major case of the FBI who put them on the map as the agency we know of today. Seems pretty important to state this, yet the film never does. He comes far too late in the film, at a point I basically already lost interest. All it did was made me angry. For being taken a fool. I keep reading how Scorsese is very respectful of the topic. How exactly? He is almost mocking and even insulting the Osage Indians by not even attempting to give us insight on their thoughts and emotions. I am supposed to believe that all of them were stoic and accepting? Come on!

I really don't understand what Martin Scorsese was going for. Yes, I think more people, including me, are aware of these horrible events. But do we know them well? Well, enough to prevent these events from happening again? No! As for this film being a contender for the Oscars. Perhaps for its camerawork and technical features. Definitely not for its story!

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