Tuesday, 20 October 2015

October Blindspot: Pulp Fiction

October Blindspot
Pulp Fiction, 1994
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

I really don't know what I was expecting of Pulp Fiction. But it wasn't what I saw. As much as Pulp Fiction is a pop culture icon, I haven't heard a lot of what the movie is actually about, so I went into this pretty blind. Oddly, the only other Tarantino movie I've seen is Django Unchained. Maybe I expected something like that, but set in the 90s with John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in those suits?

Anyway, Pulp Fiction is a non-linear movie with connected stories of various characters. We have 2 hit men, a gangsters wife, a boxer and two robbers. These stories interconnect and are told non-linearly. I don't really know how else to describe this movie without describing the whole thing. It's almost as though this movie is a series of connected short films, all with a beginning and an end. And because this was truly not what I was expecting, I'm not 100% sure how I felt about this movie. Some of the segments I enjoyed, others (specifically the Bruce Willis one) I found a little unnecessary.

This movie was a mainly enjoyable, though somewhat long watch. Like I mentioned, I didn't care the Bruce Willis chapter of the film, though definitely did enjoy the opening, the "Bonnie Situation" and how it all tied up. John Travolta was actually really good in this. His character was someone I never really understood, but Travolta really seemed to embody Vincent and play him with enthusiasm. Samuel L Jackson was in this less than I would've liked, but he was stellar in his role. Also, Uma Thurman was in this even less, though she was also great.

Overall, I'm not sure I 100% understand why Pulp Fiction is considered the classic it is, but it definitely is a good movie. It's become a pop culture icon since releasing 21 years ago, and is considered Quentin Tarantino's best work. While it's not exactly my cup of tea (I'm definitely team Shawshank for the 1995 Oscars) it's a work I can completely respect and still have an appreciation for (especially the Bonnie Situation. That short chapter was perfect and hilarious!)



  1. Nice review. I understand that it might be hard to understand why it's classic two decades later. I'll try to shed some light on it. For starters, it was a transformative film for the enthre industry. Movie-making really did change after its release. The style of dialogue used here (and in all Tarantino films, to be honest) has been copied countless times since and become fairly commonplace. The snarkiness, the pop-culture references, the self-awareness, the way it all came together here was original to that director. At the time, the only comparable films were ones that he wrote and/or directed by him: True Romance (which he wrote) and Reservoir Dogs (his debut as a director which he also wrote). Both made people take notice, but PF made a huge splash and is arguably the most emulated movie of the last 25 years. There is quite a lengthy list of PF knock-offs that closely ape it and a bunch more that take plenty of cues from it.

    PF also made it cool to pay homage to, copy, or rip-off movies and genres of the past in both subtle and overt ways. Tarantino was obviously a film buff who took his cues from countless hours watching all sorts of films and incorporating them for a modern audience. While Shawshank is a great movie, it's not a watershed moment for filmmaking in the same way as PF. Shawshank did all of those classic movie things wonderfully, and I love it for that. However, Pulp Fiction changed movies forever.

    1. Thanks for the insight Dell! Definitely makes a difference. It's always great to learn how films have changed films that come after it. And I definitely recognize that Pulp Ficiton is definitely more innovative than Shawshank, even before reading your insight. I just personally enjoy Shawshank more :)