Pulp Fiction (1994): A Film Worthy of Serious Study
As per fan request, here’s a review of an all-time classic, Pulp Fiction! If you want a specific film reviewed, be sure to leave a comment or let me know on my Facebook page! As always, the following review will be spoiler free.
Pulp Fiction is directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bruce Willis as well as Uma Thurman and Ving Rhames in supporting roles. The movie focuses on gang activity in the Los Angeles area with seemingly separate stories that are interwoven into a non-linear story arc, showing each story out of order and within context to the other plot lines. The mob boss, Marsellus (Ving Rhames), has multiple deals and requests of characters such as Sam Jackson, John Travolta, and Bruce Willis and, as you can guess since this is a movie, things do not always go to plan which lead to dangerous, sometimes fatal, results for the characters and others.
Quentin Tarantino is quite possibly my favorite director. His signature style resonates incredibly well in all his films where hyper-violent and bloody sequences, crude but poignant dialogue, and dark humor reign supreme. The best quality of his movies I contend is the dialogue. Tarantino makes the mundane in his movies super enjoyable with snappy, intense, and often twistedly funny dialogue that plays so well with the often absurd scenes the characters are in at that moment in the movie.
Even in his lesser efforts such as Jackie Brown or The Hateful Eight (two movies which I still adore but are on the lower end of his filmography in terms of quality), the dialogue is the engine that makes the movie run. It elevates every single one of his carefully crafted scenes, leading to unforgettable results.
Another one of Tarantino’s qualities I really appreciate is the typical hook that begins his movies with that suck you in right from the start. One opening scene that really sticks out in my mind is the ranch scene in Inglorious Basterds. Tarantino again uses his masterfully crafted dialogue between Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and the rancher. In this scene and others, Tarantino often does a great job of quickly changing the tone (often from joking to very serious and tense). Tarantino always keeps you on your toes as a viewer which makes for a very, very fun viewing experience.
What I Liked
As for Pulp Fiction itself, I contend that it is Tarantino’s best work and it sits comfortably in my personal top 10 list (to see the actual list, click here). Tarantino’s writing is always superb, but I do believe this is his best effort. Every character is so expertly written, starting with Sam Jackson and John Travolta who play so well off each other, especially during the opening scene which, to me, is one of the best opening scenes ever in film. It starts out in the most relaxed, calm manner with Jackson and Travolta shooting the breeze in the car (with some hilariously iconic dialogue) and ends in a blaze of glory in one of the most iconic (seeing a pattern?) monologues ever by Samuel L. Jackson. Their chemistry continues throughout the entire film and that chemistry expands to every other major character in the film.
Each chapter of the non-linear story line has a memorable moment to it which is a true measures of how a film age. Tarantino also spreads the wealth and gives every main actor or actress in the film a chance to shine. It’s very nice seeing Bruce Willis care about a movie when you watch Pulp Fiction since he’s been phoning in his performances for a good number of years now. This movie was a rebirth for John Travolta and even launched Samuel L. Jackson to super stardom.
What I Liked…Continued
The last quality I will say about this masterpiece is its influence on film. Pulp Fiction spear-headed a change in film about how to tell a story. It was massively ambitious and had some of cinema’s most graphic scenes of all time in 1994, including drug use, rape, and hyper violence. This helped to reduce the stigma around more taboo subjects in culture altogether. And even with its bold themes, there’s Samuel L. Jackson to keep the film grounded in morality, struggling to deal with the consequences of his employment and what it means for the people that have wronged his boss.
So overall, Pulp Fiction is a timeless classic that, in my mind, should be studied and enjoyed by all film-goers. For its reach and brashness, Pulp Fiction gets an A+. If you haven’t seen it yet, GO SEE IT. It’s most definitely worth your time.
Thank you all so much for reading! This is the first fan request I have done and I am looking to continue this going forward. Please feel free to comment on all my reviews and/or like my Facebook page here to stay connected and he heard! Whether it’s old or new, the choice is up to you! Thanks for reading!