FIRST DO NO HARMONICA
Based on the title alone, “Once Upon a Time Upon in the West” sounds like an epic bedtime story about cowboys. And when the movie is referred to as a “spaghetti Western,” one can reasonably expect Indians slurp some noodle pasta. Neither cases are true, but the movie, like its title and a spaghetti, is lengthy and extended. Slurping this bad boy will take three hours.
The first scenes should test some patience as three men, none of which are the main characters, interminably wait for a train. The plot is intentionally at a stall as the film brings out its Western flair to the forefront. “Once Upon a Time …” lives in the moment; it immerses its viewer in its dry, scorching atmosphere. It pays attention to details from mundane sounds (a buzzing fly, water leaks, and a howling wind) to the slight grimaces of its cowboys. If a viewer succumbs to ennui during these scenes, there is no hope that he can last the entire movie.