“Now that was a tasty burger.” -Jules Winnfield
Anyone that knows me knows my admiration for Pulp Fiction, one of my top 10 films of all time. Over the last twenty years, the film has ranked anywhere from the top of my list to as low as three. I’m not gonna lie, sometimes my list changes based on who is asking me. You see, some people don’t really understand the graphic nature of the story told out of order. Many people like linear story telling where the hero wins at the end. Pulp Fiction aimed to tell a different kind of story, one that broke the mode (and winning the Palme d’Or in 1994). I know, if the French liked it, maybe it’s a red flag, but I’m here to say if you are one of eight people on Earth who have not seen it, go ahead. Be warned, it is filled with tasty burgers, foot rubbing conversation, a drug overdose, Travolta dancing, a gimp, a samurai sword, shooting someone in the face, a speech about a watch stuck up multiple asses, a restaurant stand-off, and the Wolfe.
The beauty in the story is the simplicity of it. If this doesn’t make much sense to you, it will after watching a couple dozen times. Elmore Leonard once wrote the key to writing is to “cut all the boring stuff out,” which was probably taken from I don’t know … William “Bloodbath” Shakespeare. In every scene of the movie, there is a problem and a goal. You know what the characters want. Even Christopher Walken’s watch speech has a point. Pulp Fiction is all about cramming as much problem in a story as it can and watching the characters react to it. It doesn’t spend thirty minutes getting to know the character and having them “Save a Cat” and some shit like that. There isn’t some alternate POV showing us what the villain is doing. There is no stupid voiceover. The dialogue is at times long speeches, which doesn’t dub well to overseas markets. The whole damn story isn’t even told in order.
This is the genius of it.
Tarantino would go on to be one of the best filmmakers of his generation. I don’t think many dispute that. He writes what he want stop write and films what he wants to film, casts who he wants to cast, and we are lucky enough studios bankroll his vision.
What is my favorite scene in the movie? Damn. There are so many to choose from. I think it would have to be Jules speech at the beginning of the film as enters the apartment building. It has to be one of the best speeches of all time. Surely “Jules Speech” is better than anything in “The King’s Speech.” I think the French would even agree.
Movie Review: 11/10 (off the damn charts)