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The Communicator

“Killers of the Flower Moon” Review

Leonardo DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon. Paramount Pictures

Martin Scorsese has just released his newest film since The Irishman (2019) and it is a jaw dropping one. Killers of the Flower Moon is based upon a book by David Gran, about the Osage murders in the early 1920s that happened in Oklahoma, where possibly hundreds of Osage Native Americans were murdered for their oil and money that they acquired when they were forcefully moved from Kansas to Oklahoma, and was oil found under their land.

The story follows Ersnet Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Mollie Burkhart nee Kyle (Lily Gladstone), in Osage County, Oklahoma. Ernest has just returned from World War I and goes to live with his uncle, William “King” Hale (Robert Deniro) and his brother Byrne (Scott Shepherd). He works as a cab driver for Mollie Kyle at the urge of his uncle. They fall in love, eventually marry and have children.

Mollie Burkhart (right) with her sisters Anna Brown (center) and Minnie (left).
These are the original 3 out of the 4 sisters the film is based on.

Ever so slowly , Mollie’s mother, sisters and tribal members start dying off mysteriously from the “wasting illness” or even murder. This true crime story tells many stories of the brutal murders behind rich white settlers’ attempts to dispose of Osage families’ lands for oil, as well as how the murders birthed the FBI.

I watched this movie with my family and we were all in disbelief of this story. Even though it was 3 hours and 26 minutes, I sat through the entire thing for I felt that I was hypnotized by the acting and emotion. Scorsese has been able to capture this heartbreaking story in its entirety and show the damage caused to the Osage people. Though in the book, it covers the story and how the FBI was born, Scorsese focuses more on the murders and gives light to the Osage people and their trauma.

The actors in this movie capture the story perfectly. Lily Gladstone shows the emotions so strongly of sadness and sorrow of her family’s losses, and Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrays the greed and gullibleness of a man surrounded by misfortune and a strong want for money. And finally, as Robert Deniro who depicts a man who would do anything for power and richness to control the osage people.

So far the movie has done mildly well in the box offices with a 86 million dollars revenue to a 200 million dollar budget. It has a percentage of 93% on rotten tomatoes with a good chunk of people adoring all the actors’ performances and even saying that this was DiCaprio’s best role yet. Many of them also loved Lily Gladstone’s performance and felt like she deserved an Oscar for best outstanding actress.

Four Osage Sisters. Left to right, Rita (JaeNae Collins), Mollie (Lily Gladstone), Anna (Carly Jade Myers), Minnie (Jillian Dion). Who were targeted for their oil.

I strongly urge everyone who is reading this to go watch Killers of the Flower Moon in cinemas or on Apple TV+ when it is released on that platform and watch the entirety of it. Then, afterwards, think of how the Osage peoples’ way of life was almost destroyed by white settlers for their own greed and hunger for money.

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