Pulp Fiction Essay, Research Paper
Pulp Fiction is like boot camp for the Marines. You come into it from your civilized life, they subject you to violent language until you’re numb, they abuse you verbally and physically until all of your normal feelings and values are reduced to dust. Leaving you aware that you have changed, and able to describe the change, you find yourself questioning the person you were previously. Next thing you know you’re saluting. This story is a cleverly disorienting journey through danger, and shock. Nothing is predictable or familiar within this bizarre world.
In Quentin Terrintenio s, Pulp Fiction, the actors portray modern-day gangsters and the story is three stories told in backwards order. To say the least, this not you re average story. The theme of the story is redemption, and the journey to achieve that redemption. The characters are colorful and most importantly they are believable.
The language of the story is street-smart and confident, like the characters. There is no main plot, only mirror plots that are reflections of each other.
The theme of redemption is portrayed by two of the main characters of the story. These characters seek redemption and a new way of life; they each want a more virtuous life. Butch (Bruce Willis) wants to pull off one last scam and then run away with the woman he loves. He seeks forgiveness and redemption through the future birth of his child. He wants his child to have a healthy childhood so that he will have the opportunity to hand down his precious gold watch, which was handed down to him. Jules (Samuel Jackson) has a near death experience and sees it as divine intervention that he is alive. Now he simply wants to leave his criminal lifestyle to walk the earth , and find his true self. The story starts with the journey of the characters.
The characters in this story are not simply black and white, from the moment you meet them you are drawn in and want to know more about them. The story s intrigue draws the audience in. And the story s credibility, the consistency of the characters, holds the audience there, inside the movie. These characters appeal to the viewer because of the street smarts and logical thinking. The characters do not live in a nine to five world of average Joe s, but they still maintain complete believability. Each character has their own set of values and goals, which only adds to the credibility of the characters.
The language of this story compliments its credibility because the language matches the characters. One basic strategy in the film is to use the language as humorous dialogue and to delay the suspense of a moment of violence. While the Uma Thurman character is dying on the floor, for example, Vincent (John Travolta) and Neil (Eric Stoltz) have a hysterical debate over how to use the hypodermic needle. The dialogue increases the suspense before the action.
This strategy is set up in the opening shot, where Jules and Vincent have a long, funny discussion about foot massage while walking down a long hotel corridor. The shot is done in one unbroken take. They arrive in front of the door to the fatal apartment, decide it is not yet time to enter, and walk further down the hall to continue their discussion. But now the camera no longer joins them; it stays planted in front of the door, and pans to look at them, walking away. The visual language says that the apartment is the first priority; the camera seems almost impatient as the discussion continues, and the tension builds.
No one can say for sure whether this story is driven by its plot or by its characters. Although there is great depth of character this story lends itself to be directed more by its plot. Because after several viewings the audience can start to see that is is not the characters that make the movie it is the odd situations that these vibrant characters are placed in that give real life to the story. The more you watch the movie, the more you’re convinced that there is a hidden spiritual level in the plot. Much has to do with the famous briefcase which belongs to Marcellus Wallace, and which Jules and Vincent capture in the apartment. We never see its contents, which emit a golden glow. What you can notice is that the combination to its lock is “666″, (the sign of Satan). These only tempt the audience to speculate that the Band-Aid on the back of Marcellus’ neck conceals the number “666.” Is Marcellus the devil?
The moral force of the play resides inside because there are well-defined lessons that can be taken away from this story. The character of Butch goes against the odds to literally fight for what he believes in. He does not carry out his bribed orders to take a fall in the fifth round of his final career bought, and he lives happily ever after. The hit-man heroin addict character of Vincent Vega is killed. The hit-man character of Jules has a near death experience and gives up the life of crime for one of virtue, and lives happily ever after.
One of the unique characteristics of Pulp Fiction is that it celebrates life and does not depict, analyze, or critique it. The violent events are offset with unexpected laughter, the contrast of moods becomes liberating, and calling attention to the real choices the characters make. In these choices the audience cheers for the good guys, who are the stereotypical bad guys, and celebrates life by questioning their own at the end of the story.