Anthony's Film Review
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Very interesting writing, yet still a bit confusing even after multiple viewings...
Although I consider myself a lover of movies in all genres, I once in a while find myself reluctant to express my opinion about a movie because I'd be going against the majority. With this review, I hope you at least understand.
Pulp Fiction is a movie that is so intricate in its script that film classes all across America have analyzed it from an academic standpoint. Do an Internet search for analysis on this movie, and you'll find essays that go into the deep philosophical and religious meanings of this movie. I've seen a few of these and do begin to appreciate the movie a little more. It makes me wonder if Quentin Tarantino really took extra care into actually making a crime film like this symbolic for people to think about for a long time. But in any event, I didn't care about it at first, because I watch all movies for the same reason: entertainment.
I like how the stories - a British cafe-robbing couple (Pumpkin and Honey Bunny), two hit men retrieving a mysterious briefcase (Jules and Vincent), a date with a crime boss's wife (Mia, wife of Marsellus Wallace), and a boxer who accepts money to lose but beats his opponent anyway (Butch) - are not told in chronological order. I enjoyed how I could reorganize the whole film into the traditional timeline format. Not only that. I like how they overlap in time and also in the characters who span more than one. What is amazing is that despite the rearrangement of scenes, there is still a sense of the conventional three acts: the beginning, the middle, and the climactic end.
The characters are the real treat here. The dialogue written for each of them sounds so natural and yet sucks you in. When Jules and Verne are in between assignments, they just chat about a bunch of things: pigs versus dogs, marijuana laws in Amsterdam, TV show pilots, and McDonald's restaurants in Europe. On a date with Mia Wallace, she and Vincent talk about a milk shake costing five dollars. There are also interesting minor characters, like Harvey Keitel as a man called in to help clean up a messy crime, Quentin Tarantino as the friend of Jules who reluctantly allows him and Vincent to make an emergency visit, and Christopher Walken as an army captain who tells young Butch a funny story about a gold watch. But my favorite character of all is Jules, played by Samuel Jackson, because his performance involves taking command of a situation as well as humor with his habit of quoting a Bible passage.
So why am I complaining? Well, like I said, I watch a movie for entertainment, and I don't mind doing a little thinking along with it. However, if it involves more depth than I'm used to, I might get lost. For example, I myself could not figure out the big question: what is the glowing thing inside the briefcase? I had to resort to reading other people's theories, and I really like one theory stating that it might be Marsellus's soul and that many of the characters and situations mirror parts of the Bible. Also, the first time I saw the movie, I wondered what all the religious references were about. I know Jules is a religious man, but was there more to it than just describing his character? All of you will tell me yes, and I won't argue. I just wish I put a lot more deep thought into the film the first time.
Pulp Fiction, nevertheless, is not a bad movie. Many of you will say it's a great landmark in cinematic history and a film with so much depth. I say it's a movie that at least has a more carefully written script and has at least something for everyone to enjoy. But one thing is certain. Quentin Tarantino is an amazingly creative writer and director. He creates a story his way and not really follow a conventional format. He also throws in a lot of references to pop culture and other films as a homage to movies, not to mention his own fictional trademarks (e.g., Jack Rabbit Slim's, Red Apple cigarettes, and Big Kahuna Burger). With all of this, Tarantino breaks into the top class of directors, and fans continue to look forward to what he creates for us.
For more information about Pulp Fiction, visit the Internet Movie Database.