Next up is Pulp Fiction, surely Tarantino’s most classic film; the one that really put him on the map. This was my first venture into Tarantino films and I was instantly transfixed.
It’s hard to say what Pulp Fiction is really about, as it covers the intersecting lives of criminals, mobsters, junkies and more in a beautifully dark concoction. It’s like Reservoir Dogs plus, and features a brilliant ensemble cast featuring John Travolta (the only film where I can stand him really), Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel (again), Bruce Willis and Christopher Walken in a cameo role that only he could play.
The film opens, like Reservoir Dogs, in a café, where a couple are chatting. As their conversation slowly unfolds, we are aware that they are a bit strange, but Tarantino pulls the rug from under our feet when it is revealed that they are actually criminals, wishing to steal money from the diner and its customers. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, so I can’t remember exactly what happens next, and the confusion is doubled since the film is not in chronological sequence, but I remember that the rest is fantastic.
John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are the mobsters, and my favourite scene is where their first, where they threaten and intimidate two other criminals for making their boss Marsellus Wallace ‘look like a bitch’. Jackson then recites a dramatic biblical announcement before executing the criminal. It’s just brilliant.
No doubt if I’d seen this film more recently, then I’d have more to say, but I think it’s worthwhile leaving the review here. Quite simply, this film is the perfect blend of characteristic “Tarantino conversation” and bloody action, making for highly rewarding, yet simultaneously intelligent, cinema. A dark comedy of brutal proportions, it’s exciting and thrilling and is, for me, Quentin’s best.