Film Friday: Pulp Fiction

Photo: Mental Floss

“I don’t remember asking you to [review] a goddamn thing”, so said The Update to me. But anyway, if you were to know me personally, you’d know I’m the kind of rebel who rides off into the sunset, eating a greasy burrito, wind flapping through my gorgeous dreadlocks, with a gorgeous girl’s carcass in my backseat, (Ed. – The following has been removed for decency reasons)

But enough of my pseudo-cannibalistic Moldovan antics, time to review Pulp Fiction (1994).

Pulp Fiction was the brainchild of Quentin Tarantino. Quentin had previously enjoyed success with his hit breakthrough Reservoir Dogs (1992), but Pulp Fiction was the film that put him on the map. He wrote the script and sent it to his producing friend, Harvey Keitel, who gladly agreed to produce the film on the condition that he act in it. Quentin agreed. The resulting film was Pulp Fiction.

 

'Django Unchained' Special Screening
Fun Fact: Quentin Tarantino is descended from Carlos I (or Charles V) of Spain.

 

carlos I, wikipedia
Pictured: Carlos I of Spain. Photo: Wikipedia.org

Pulp Fiction starts with a couple in a restaurant, Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer), loving talking to each other about whether or not to rob the place. They decide to do so, after which the movie proper starts. The film is divided into chapters which are told out of order, with the stories revolving around two hitmen, Vince (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. [expletive] Jackson), their boss and his wife, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) and Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) and a boxer caught in the middle, Butch (Bruce Willis). Meanwhile there are other characters who weave in and out of the storyline, each contributing in their own special way.

Pulp Fiction is, above all, quotable. I can quote the first twenty minutes nearly word for word, due to the intense memorability of the lines. To people who have already seen the film, I need only refer to the Bible passage ‘Ezekiel 25:17’ and people will happily quote Sam Jackson, “And I will STRIKE down upon thee with great vengeance and FURIOUS anger, those who would attempt to poison and my brothers. And YOU will KNOW my NAME is THE LORD!  When I lay my vengeance upon thee”.

jackson, quotesgram.com
Please don’t take this image literally. Photo: quotesgram.com

Then there’s the story itself. The story is divided into chapters that span over two days. The chapters are told out of order (the first scene of the film and the last scene happen next to each other in the middle of the timeline. Confused yet?). This was intentionally done so as to make each scene appear to be a different story, whilst also piquing interest (one character dies in the middle but is back in the end because of the story structure).

Pulp Fiction also deserves praise for its characters. From the pious and murderous Jules to the smooth, heroin addicted and murderous Vince. Even the terrifying, murderous Marsellus Wallace is memorable, despite only being in the film for perhaps ten minutes. Also, for the record,  Samuel L. Jackson as Jules is officially the guy who best pulls off a jerry curl (sorry Ice Cube and Senator of Kentucky Rand Paul (R) ).

randal howard paul, wikipedia.org
Behold, the whitest guy with a jerry curl. I think this technically counts as a hate crime. Photo: Wikipedia.org

That’s not even talking about style and metaphor, of both Pulp Fiction has a briefcase-full-of-glowing-light worth. The symbolism of Butch, the tough guy 80s action hero being played by Bruce Willis and Vince, the smooth cool guy 70s hero being played by John Travolta was on fleek (is that how people say it? I don’t know, please don’t punish me for my lack of knowledge of pop culture).

Deez nuts, giphy.gif
See? I know pop culture (Ed. This is just sad now). Photo: GIPHY.com

 

Of course, as previously mentioned, I have to talk about the briefcase full of glowing light. Pulp Fiction has a briefcase, the contents of which we never see. We only see the light from it glowing on whoever opens it.

Well, I guess the description’s in the title. Man, that was a waste of a paragraph.

pulp fiction, huffington post
Me when I see the problems with my life. Photo: Huffingtonpost.com

Anyway, Pulp Fiction is questioned by many as to what is it’s genre? The thing is, Pulp Fiction doesn’t really have one. Sure, I guess it could be a comedy, or a slasher, or a morality drama, or a crime film, or a romance, or a drug film or – (Ed. – The list goes on. This guy tends to ramble. Just ignore him when he does this and throw him a fish. He’ll clap for you).

All in all, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m quite the fan of Pulp Fiction. To be fair though, so is everybody. I know of no human who has seen this and doesn’t like it (Save for my grandfather, who is crazy in other ways too). I have purposely tried to reveal little (Ed. – Really? Tried to reveal little?) about the plot so as to make sure that all who see Pulp Fiction will have the same experience as me, which is to say, explosive.

Pulp Fiction earns its grade of 7/7