Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pulp Fiction

Movie Name: Pulp Fiction
Year of Release: 1994
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Amanda Plummer, Maria de Medeiros, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken, Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Peter Greene, Duane Whitaker, Alexis Arquette, Angela Jones, Paul Calderon, Burr Steers, Frank Whaley
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 10

When "Pulp Fiction" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Quentin Tarantino was mostly known for "Reservoir Dogs", which had premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1992, to great reviews. "Pulp Fiction" won the Palm D'Or, and went on to win many awards in 1994, eclipsing the other big film of 1994, Robert Zemeckis' "Forrest Gump" (which ended up triumphing at the Academy Awards, whereas "Pulp Fiction" settled for the Oscar for Original Screenplay).
"Pulp Fiction" follows the stories of a group of diverse characters, some of which though initially seemingly unrelated, end up intersecting each others path (and where the sense of time progression is also arranged differently). The film introduces us to two hit men, by the name of Jules and Vincent, who are sent on an assignment to retrieve a valuable suitcase for their boss, Marcellus Wallace. That task is met with some unpredictable obstacles, and both men have to resort to an expert to help them overcome the situation they find themselves in. Marcellus on the other hand has other businesses, namely with a boxer by the name of Butch, whom he orders to lose a fight. When Butch decides against the arrangement, that puts him and his girlfriend Fabienne in a extremely precarious position. Due to a bizarre set of events, these two men find themselves trapped in a basement at the mercy of some deranged lunatics. Marcellus' wife on the other hand, goes on the town with Jules, who is dealing with a drug habit, that ends up affecting the outcome of their meetup.
The power and originality of "Pulp Fiction" is still felt even 20 years after its debut. The film continues to feel as fresh and original as it did when it premiered - the way the characters and stories intersect is superbly done and executed. The film feels and reads like a slice of the underbelly of LA, with hit men who quote the bible, wannabe actresses who exude charisma, offbeat stories about war and relics that are unlike anything you'll ever witness or see again. The cast is uniformly fantastic, particularly Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, both of whom are indelible in their creations. The true testament to the importance of this film, lies in the way it juggles multiple film references, and yet it feels uniquely distinguishable. It's a film that invented on it's own a new sub-genre, and successfully opened the way to the career of Quentin Tarantino. A modern classic.