Reviewed by: Luke Walkley
Released: 15th October 1994
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Roth
Dubbed as brilliant by some and madman by others, Quentin Tarantino treads the fine line between genius and insanity and Pulp Fiction is Tarantino in film form. As has become typical with his films, he is able to attract Hollywood’s biggest names and utilises them like no-one else. Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman and Tim Roth all star in the film unlike any other. Pulp Fiction is in a genre of its own.
The film follows three separate stories, which intertwine at various points along the way. Butch(Bruce Willis) is the Boxer bribed by Marsellus Wallace( Ving Rhames) but instead wins the match and has to go on the run. Vincent and Jules (Travolta and Jackson) are two men for hire who just want to enjoy their dinner in a diner until they are caught up in the armed robbery initiated by Pumpkin and Honey-Bunny (Plummer and Roth)
Though, the beauty behind the film is not that the story is ground breaking; there are no major plot twists and short of a few clever comings together at the end there is no real mystery or suspense. The films defining features come in Tarantino’s ability to make the completely unnecessary, necessary.
The needless conversations between Jules and Vincent (Jackson and Travolta) about foot rubs and the different names for a quarter pounder across the world, means that their actual purpose in the film, hired guns for gangster Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) becomes trivial. A hold-up scene in a Diner with Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer as the Bonnie and Clyde of Taranatino’s creation, starts as a robbery and turns into a conversation about the Fonz, between Jackson and Plummer’s characters. It is this non-essential dialogue that shows Tarantino’s true ingenuity. The film has to go down as one of the most quotable of all time, With Jackson being the font of many memorable lines. Almost every scene has an element of black comedy hidden within its meaning.
Pulp Fiction is exactly what its title says it is. A mish-mash of clever quotes, odd characters and crazy storylines. However, they work so beautifully together it creates an entirely different and almost perfect film. No other Director or Writer focuses on so many seemingly miniscule subjects as Tarantino and no others could match his level of uniqueness in causing these topics to become pivotal to the films overall outcome and appearance. Though it may be predominately viewed as a cult-classic, Pulp Fiction is one of the truly defining movies of the 20th Century.