In Martin Scorsese’s latest cinematic masterpiece, "Killers of the Flower Moon," the renowned director delves deep into a chilling chapter of history, unearthing the Osage Reign of Terror. This film adaptation of David Grann’s nonfiction book takes viewers on a captivating journey, but it’s the audacious ending that leaves a lasting impression.
A Historical Echo in the Radio Drama
Scorsese recognizes that he’s not the first to tackle this dark slice of history. The FBI had its own take on the Osage Reign of Terror, promoting it through a 1930s radio drama known as "The Lucky Strike Hour." Two decades later, J. Edgar Hoover himself made an appearance in the Jimmy Stewart-led film "The FBI Story," briefly reenacting the Osage case. However, it was the radio drama that left an indelible mark on Scorsese’s storytelling.
Over nearly three and a half hours, Scorsese meticulously unfolds the narrative of Mollie Burkhart (played by Lily Gladstone), an Osage woman, and Ernest Burkhart (portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio), a white man who becomes entwined in the Osage Reign of Terror. The film brilliantly captures the nuances of their complicated relationship, with Ernest caught between his fear of his power-hungry uncle, greed, and his genuine love for Mollie.
The Unanswered Questions
Even FBI agents at the time puzzled over why Mollie stayed with Ernest. Scorsese’s rendition attempts to answer this question, portraying Ernest as a complex character torn between conflicting emotions. However, the historical record and the self-serving radio drama didn’t encapsulate this complexity.
As the film’s climax nears, we witness Ernest’s conviction for his crimes against Mollie’s family and the Osage people. It’s a personal and devastating scene focused on Mollie’s agency, a perspective often omitted in Native American narratives.
A Daring Leap into the Future
But Scorsese doesn’t stop there. In the subsequent scene, the film takes a bold leap into the future. A cast of entirely white actors recreates the Osage story for a radio drama on stage. This version of the story presents FBI lawman Tom White, portrayed by Jesse Plemons, as the conquering hero, with the villains firmly dispatched. It’s a stark contrast to the reality we witnessed earlier.
A Reality-Altering Moment
In a unique twist, Scorsese himself steps onto the stage, altering the film’s reality. He takes on the role of the radio drama narrator, revealing a part of the story that never made it into "The Lucky Strike Hour." Scorsese narrates what happened to Mollie, the central character of his version of the story, sharing the basic details of her life and her tragic death in 1937. His closing words are haunting, "There was no mention of the murders."
A Director’s Signature
Martin Scorsese has a history of making appearances in his own films, but unlike Alfred Hitchcock, his presence often serves to comment on the film’s action. In "Killers of the Flower Moon," Scorsese’s role is a testament to the power of storytelling. He acknowledges the limits of his perspective and reminds us that there’s always more to a story than meets the eye.
The audacious ending of "Killers of the Flower Moon" serves as a profound commentary on the manipulation of history, emphasizing how narratives can be distorted and selectively presented. Scorsese’s bold conclusion challenges us to question the version of history we are presented with, urging us to dig deeper and uncover the hidden truths.
In summary, "The Audacious Ending of Killers of the Flower Moon" is not just a conclusion to a film, but a thought-provoking commentary on the power of storytelling and historical distortion.
The Power of Narrative: Manipulation and Distortion in Killers of the Flower Moon
What Happens at the End of Killers of the Flower Moon?
In the culmination of "Killers of the Flower Moon," after Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) testifies against his uncle, William Hale (Robert De Niro), the mastermind of a sinister plot to seize oil rights in Oklahoma, he faces a reckoning with his wife regarding his complicity in the conspiracy.
This intense finale revolves around Ernest’s courtroom confession and the unmasking of the malevolent oil conspiracy. The film masterfully exposes the tension between Ernest’s loyalty to his family and his involvement in the horrific crimes, making it a gripping and thought-provoking conclusion that leaves audiences pondering the complex web of deceit and family dynamics.
Is ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ a Good Movie?
In this post, we delve into whether "Killers of the Flower Moon" lives up to its hype. Based on David Grann’s nonfiction book, "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI," Martin Scorsese’s film adaptation is generating significant buzz and has been acclaimed as one of the standout films of 2023. With its roots in a gripping true story and helmed by Scorsese’s directorial prowess, it’s safe to say that this movie is a cinematic triumph that shouldn’t be missed.
Who Plays William Hale in Killers of the Flower Moon?
In "Killers of the Flower Moon," the role of William Hale, a cattleman-plutocrat characterized by calcified resentment and self-importance, is masterfully portrayed by the legendary actor Robert De Niro. De Niro brings to life this complex character, emphasizing Hale’s peculiar connections with the Osage people and making his portrayal an integral part of the film’s compelling narrative.
What Happens at the End of Killers of the Flower Moon?
In the climactic conclusion of "Killers of the Flower Moon," we witness the conviction of Ernest for his heinous crimes against Mollie’s family and the broader Osage community. The film poignantly captures the moment when Mollie, for the first time, comprehends the profound extent of his betrayal and chooses to walk away from their relationship. This emotional and pivotal scene serves as a powerful ending, highlighting the enduring impact of the Osage Reign of Terror on their lives.
What is the True Story Behind Killers of the Flower Moon?
Martin Scorsese’s latest cinematic masterpiece delves into a tragic chapter in American history. At its core, "Killers of the Flower Moon" uncovers the harrowing events that unfolded within the Osage Nation during the early 20th century. During this time, a sinister plot emerged among white settlers who sought to exploit the immense wealth hidden beneath the oil-rich lands of the Osage in Oklahoma. This conspiracy led to the ruthless murder of numerous Osage community members, exposing a dark and unsettling piece of history.
Who Dies in Killers of the Flower Moon?
The chilling events in "Killers of the Flower Moon" unveil a series of tragic deaths that haunt the Osage community. As the narrative unfolds, it becomes evident that these fatalities are far from mere accidents. In 1918, Margie’s aunt Minnie’s life is tragically cut short under suspicious circumstances, suggesting poisoning as the cause. Three years later, another sinister incident transpires when Margie’s aunt Anna goes missing and is later discovered, having met a fatal end, at the base of a ravine. These unnerving deaths are central to the complex web of intrigue that the film explores.