Beginning of the end in 'Killers of the Flower Moon'

There is a pivotal scene in Martin Scorsese's “The Flower Moon Killers” where William Hale's (Robert De Niro) power over the Osage community begins to crack. He catches underling Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio) profiting from an unapproved car insurance scam and discovers that Ernest's wife, Mollie (Lily Gladstone), has hired a private investigator, bringing “unwanted eyes” to her own criminality. To restore order, Hale decides that Ernest must be reprimanded, first hitting him with an oar and then lecturing him to regain control of his house. “Hale is realizing that the real obstacle to his plan is this powerful woman,” says cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. “Hale feels that Mollie is getting the upper hand on Ernest” and is trying to ensure that she becomes the voice of power. The moody moment in a Masonic lodge is painted with dark blue walls reminiscent of the night sky and soft lighting from above as if it were a spotlight on the characters. The wide shots make the characters feel “small in the frame” and “isolated,” while the low angles contextualize Hale's presence and power from Ernest's perspective. It marks the beginning of the end for Hale and defines where a resilient woman begins to flourish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

scroll to top