Killers of the Flower Moon — Greed and the Insidiousness of Evil

Killers of the Flower Moon — Greed and the Insidiousness of Evil

This is perhaps Martin Scorsese's most brilliant film showing his skills as a master-storyteller. He delves deep into the human soul with each character, seeking to discover what drives a person to choose good or evil. Does he succeed? That depends on the viewer's awareness of the details. Though it moves steadily and engrosses the audience, this hefty 3 1/2 hour film is based on the true story of the Osage Native American Tribe from Osage County, Oklahoma, who struck oil and became the richest tribe in the country. 

They "protect" themselves from greedy people by establishing land rights. But, as Saint Paul says, "money is the root of all evil" (1 Tim 6:10). And evil comes upon the Osage by gold-digging white men marrying into the tribe and killing off the members to obtain their land. They are led by William Hale (Robert DiNiro) a supposed "friend" of the Osage. DeNiro's performance makes you believe he is sincerely seeking their good, until he's not.


The Osage are Catholic and they pray for the light so their tribe will survive. The dawn is a sacred time of prayer for the Osage and the spring is when the flower moon appears leading to tiny flowers that spread all over the prairies. The flowers represent the Osage whose customs, faith, and land will soon disappear as greedy "gold-diggers" infiltrate their community. 


© 2023 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved. 


The story focuses on Mollie (Lily Gladstone) who is the level-headed member of her family and defies multiple requests from the white men who wish to court her. When she meets Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) she sees something different. Ernest, we want to believe, desires "the good life" by settling down with Mollie and having a family. They marry and have children. Mollie develops severe diabetes. The town doctors, she believes, will help her with insulin, but their motives are not as pure as she thinks. Her trust in people wavers when horrible things start to happen to her family members and other Osage tribal members. 


Leonardo DiCaprio's performance as Ernest is Oscar-worthy. During the entire film the audience tries to determine Ernest's motives. His conscience becomes subverted through love of money. His conniving Uncle Hale, along with his brother, lead him to make choices with untold consequences.



© 2023 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved. 


Mollie sees her family being killed off one by one but does not suspect her husband of any wrongdoing. His lie becomes a lie to himself, not knowing who he really is. The more we choose evil, the more desensitized we become to its insidiousness. Our conscience is dulled and twisted. Ernest lives a lie coated with greed. Mollie instead trusts Ernest and seeks a life of simplicity and love. Her intuition, however, leads her to be the one to contact the FBI to come and investigate the murders of the Osage. What the FBI discovers is heartrending. Greed destroys human beings from the inside and leads them to do untold atrocities to other human beings. 


This masterful Scorsese film leaves the viewer wondering if evil always wins. But, if we look deeper into the story, the spirituality of the Osage—native practices combined with their Catholic faith—makes them people of faith who believe that human beings are both body and spirit and that this world is not the end. In light of eternity, we all receive our just due. Killers of the Flower Moon is a heartbreaking and disturbing film about a piece of history that seems to show how evil gets the last word. But, really, no one escapes death and judgment. 













You need to login in order to comment

Find a Movie Review

Subscribe to Movie Reviews



Meet Jesus at the Movies!

Movies by Genres