Thursday, April 3, 2014

Indie Review: Pulp Fiction (1994)



                                'Pulp Fiction': A Modest Landmark In Cinema History

                 Back in 1994, Quentin Tarantino came out with a film that was not just a game changer for cinema, but a game changer for indie cinema as he was able to help indie cinema cross over to the mainstream. While this accomplished feat is admirable, I would say that despite it being a landmark film, it isn't without its faults.

                 Story:
                Pulp Fiction is a bunch of interwoven stories involving two hitmen named Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta), a boxer named Butch (Bruce Willis), and even a couple that rob a restaurant named Pumpkin and Honey Bunny (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer). All these tales are put together in a film about violence that is a throwback to hardboiled crime fiction.

               What I Liked About It:
             First off, I did like the direction by Quentin Tarantino. I especially like the scenes where he does long tracking shots and he does them masterfully. I also thought it was neat how he hardly puts any music in the intense violent scenes. Plus, one of my favorite scenes was the scene where Christopher Walken meets up with a younger version of Bruce Willis' character to hand him his father's gold watch and as Walken moves closer towards the camera, the film then cuts over to Willis getting ready for a boxing match. So, major kudos to Tarantino for his masterful direction. Another thing that I did like was the performances from the cast. There is an ensemble of great actors, but some of the standouts I would say are Samuel L. Jackson as Jules, and even Bruce Willis as Butch. Jackson is hilarious as he plays a foul-mouthed hitman who recites Bible verses as he is about to execute people and Willis really shines as a boxer who is in way over his head. But, the overall cast is excellent.

             Now, the film is structured in a non-chronological way, but I liked that Tarantino went in that direction. If it had been done in linear order, I personally feel it would have a different effect, so towards the end, I can see why the film isn't put together chronologically. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll probably just leave it at that.

              What I Didn't Like About It:
             Like I said, this film does have its fair share of faults. In particular, the biggest problem I had is that it is just way too long. It is much longer than it needed to be. At times, I honestly felt the film kind of drags and if it was much shorter, I probably would've loved it a lot more. I do love this film and think it is quite remarkable, but I would've rather it had been shorter.

             Consensus:
           Overall, Pulp Fiction is a remarkable piece of cinema that despite its problems, is still one to be treasured, especially in the indie circuit. I wouldn't say that this is for everybody because of how violent, but I would say give it a watch because of how it has become such a cultural phenomenon.

Rating: 3.5/5