Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction is probably the quintessential film in regards to Quentin Tarantino. It contains all the shots and quirks that define Tarantino movies. It also contains Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Harvey Keitel, and Uma Thurman, all of whom are some of Tarantino's favorite actors. The story of modern gangster life is told through three main stories titled Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife, The Gold Watch, and The Bonnie Situation. The stories revolve around four days in the realm of hit men, betting, and drugs. Hit men Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta, and Jules Winfield, played by Samuel L. Jackson, work under Marsellus Wallace, a mob boss played by Ving Rhames. Bruce Willis plays a boxer who is payed by Marsellus Wallace to dive in a fight. And finally, Uma Thurman plays Marsellus Wallace's mysterious wife. The lives of these people interconnect in a span that leaves their lives altered forever.

By this point a postmodern classic, Pulp Fiction is a great example of the complexity and creativity screenwriters and directors are able to bring. It's movies like this that give hope to people like me, who hope that  films won't devolve into cheap comedies and meaningless blockbusters. The complex timeline provides the kind of mystique that correlates with the circumstances of the film and of course with the contents of the briefcase. Samuel L. Jackson is the clear standout star in the movie. His character mirrors Quentin Tarantino's archetypical character; he is conflicted, vulgar, and goes through a transformation throughout the film. I think vulgarity is the thing Tarantino does in every one of his films that most accurately depicts human nature. People are vulgar. That's simply part of the human condition. We are vulgar in our words for emphasis and true emotion. And Tarantino consistently portrays this throughout all of his films, particularly Pulp Fiction.

Grade: A

High-billed Actors - Box Office and Oscar
Complex themes and concepts - Oscar
Unique and creative direction - Oscar
Notorious director or writer - Oscar and Box Office
Original storyline - Oscar

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