In the 1920s, a sinister string of murders plagued the Osage Nation after they discovered oil on their land in Oklahoma, generating immense wealth. The chilling mysteries and racial injustices suffered by the Osage tribe are grippingly brought to light in Killers of the Flower Moon, a drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro.
Based on David Grann’s best-selling book, Killers of the Flower Moon release date was set for October 20, 2023. The movie depicts the origins and FBI investigation of the “Reign of Terror” against the Osage people. This powerful film immerses viewers in the injustices, racism, and violence inflicted on the community when greed and corruption robbed them of power, dignity, and life. In this Killers of the Flower Moon review, we’ll give you an overview of the Disturbing True Story. We will also cover the cast and character performances and explore the visually stunning depiction of 1920s Oklahoma. Lastly, we’ll answer one burning question – does it live up to the book?
Delving into this unsettling history through engrossing storytelling and cinematography, Killers of the Flower Moon exposes atrocities while honoring the victims. Read on for a full review of this chilling and enlightening film.
Overview of the Disturbing True Story
In the 1920s, the discovery of oil on Osage tribal lands in Oklahoma generated immense wealth for members of the community. Due to previous government restrictions, the land and mineral rights were communally held, meaning all Osage members benefited from oil profits.
But soon, Osage members began mysteriously dying or being killed under suspicious circumstances. By 1925, over two dozen had been murdered, their family members also dying shortly after.
Investigations uncovered sinister conspiracies by white guardians appointed to manage the fortunes of Osage members. Along with law officials and spouses, they orchestrated ways to steal the wealth by systematically killing off heirs.
Edgar Hoover assigned special agent Tom White to ramp up the investigation, which uncovered the deeply entrenched corruption and racial injustices punishing the Osage people simply for obtaining fortune.
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Killers Of The Flower Moon Cast and Character Performances
Scorsese assembled an all-star cast to depict this unsettling story. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Ernest Burkhart, a white man married into an affluent Osage family who becomes entangled in the murder plots.
Robert De Niro plays his uncle, William Hale, a rancher hungry for wealth and power over the community. Hale masterminds many of the killing schemes with cold calculation.
Osage actor Lily Gladstone gives a standout performance as Mollie Burkhart, an Osage woman who marries Ernest amidst the turmoil, shining light on the grief and strength of victims.
Jesse Plemons brings nuance to Tom White, the appointed lead FBI agent who experiences anguish as the dark conspiracies are revealed.
Strong performances immerse us in the characters entangled in corruption, deceit, and murder. DiCaprio disappears into his complex role as a perpetrator torn by conscience and loyalty.
Visually Stunning Depiction of 1920s Oklahoma
Scorsese’s meticulous direction vividly brings 1920s Osage County to life through stunning visuals saturated with colour and texture. The remote plains, modest homes, bustling oil derricks, smoky speakeasies, and more transport viewers into the era.
Elaborate costumes, cars, trains, and music infuse nostalgic 1920s detail. Cinematography frames the stark beauty of the open prairies against the ominous darkness lurking beneath.
The theme of Greed’s Corruption
At its core, Killers of the Flower Moon explores how greed corrupted those in power, fueling heinous exploitation and murder against the Osage people.
Beyond immense wealth, the Osage gained education, independence, and voting rights – threatening those desiring dominance. Through disturbing schemes, their prosperity was sabotaged and reclaimed through unthinkable violence endorsed by officials sworn to protect.
In The Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese parallels America’s historic thirst for wealth with the tragedies it enabled. The film captures how sinister human nature can fester when prosperity is deemed a threat. DiCaprio’s complex portrayal of Ernest poignantly depicts greed’s capacity to poison morals.
The theme of Racial Oppression and Injustice
The Killers of the Flower Moon also focuses on the brutal oppression and injustices inflicted upon Native Americans by white Americans, as seen through the Osage murders.
Despite obtaining wealth and power fairly through oil, racist notions allowed the Osage people to be deemed “incapable” of managing it themselves. Thus, corrupt guardians schemed to steal their fortunes, knowing few would care about missing or dead Natives.
It highlights the pattern of Indigenous people being forcibly stripped of resources, rights, dignity, and life throughout American history – with officials looking the other way. Scenes of Osage children stolen to boarding schools grimly depict this oppression.
Does it Live Up to the Book?
Killers of the Flower Moon provides a gripping adaptation of David Grann’s 500-page best seller. The film ably captures the book’s alarming revelations through stunning visual storytelling.
As with any adaptation, some nuances are lost, like the backstories of those murdered. But outstanding acting and an enthralling structure centering on the FBI investigation make it an engrossing film that respects the essence of Grann’s meticulously researched book.
Killers of the Flower Moon brings important buried history into the light through dazzling filmmaking. Viewers will feel immersed in the ominous Oklahoma plains, where darkness plagued a community enriched with oil. Scorsese’s exploration of greed’s rot and racially-fueled oppression in 1920s America makes for an enlightening film that resonates disturbingly with current times.
A Story That Needs Telling
Killers of the Flower Moon delivers a gripping and unsettling portrayal of the harrowing Osage murders and conspiracies that shook 1920s Oklahoma. Scorsese’s masterful direction brings the chilling real-life story to life through stunning visuals and powerful performances that capture the complexity of characters caught up in horrific greed and racism.
While profoundly disturbing, it’s a crucial part of history that demands acknowledgment. The injustices and atrocities suffered by the Osage people, robbed of lives and fortunes they earned, must be recognised. This film brings awareness to systematic oppression and violence inflicted upon Native Americans throughout America’s past and the deadly consequences of prejudices left unchecked.
Viewers can catch the Killers of the Flower Moon trailer online to get a glimpse into a movie that offers a raw, well-crafted look into this unsettling history with immense respect for the victims. The compelling film adapting Grann’s scrupulously researched book provides a gripping portal into shadowy evils poisoning a community struck by oil and stunned by the murder. If you liked this movie review and would like to enjoy more such content, visit Neon Police.