Reservoir Dogs Essay, Research Paper
Reservoir Dogs is a gangster movie with a difference. Instead of the gangsters being portrayed as slick professionals who always stay calm and collected, they are portrayed realistically. Reservoir Dogs is about a group of 5 professional thieves who attempt to rob a jewelry store. However, one of the team, Mr. Orange (played by Tim Roth) is an undercover police officer. After the group enter the jewelry store and employee turns on an alarm and one of the men, Mr. Blonde starts shooting the staff and customers, before the police get there, and the team escapes by stealing cars and shooting police officers dead. When the surviving members of the team rendezvous at a warehouse, debate begins regarding who the ‘rat’ is.
In the movie, the story as outlined above is not presented in such a linear way. The movie begins with the team members dining with the boss, Joe at a restaurant, a comical scene where they are light-heartedly discussing the meaning of the song “Like a Virgin” and why society demands that people tip waitresses. However, the mood of this film dramatically changes after the introductory credits when the scene is changed to a stolen car, where Mr. Orange is in the back seat screaming “I’m gonna fucking die! clutching at his bloody wound is his belly. This sets the scene for the rest of the movie that occurs after the robbery, as most of what happens is arguments between various people as to who the ‘rat’ is, often leading to threats, and more than once, the ‘teammates’ draw their guns on each other, and in the end, Joe (the boss), Big Eddie (Joe’s son) are killed in a triangular shooting over whether or not Orange is the ‘rat’.
The non-lineal sequence of events is not at all confusing, and adds to the interest and intrigue as the movie progresses. This movie would not have been so acclaimed, had it followed the traditional sequence, where we follow firs the preparation of the cop, the preparation of the robbery, the robbery and then the rendezvous. If Reservoir Dogs had been set out in such a manner, one could easily see what would happen well before it did.
For the most part, this film is about ‘honor among thieves”, and the aspect of professionalism in crime. There is much discussion about Mr. Blonde’s action when the alarm went off, and Mr. White emphatically states that he is a “psycho”, and “unprofessional” and in the end Mr. White ends up being shot because he is convinced that Mr. Orange is not the rat. In the final moments of the film, Orange confesses to White and this show that honor exists, even between ‘enemies’. White had told Orange his name and where he came from, two things they were forbidden from doing, and Mr. Orange respected this loyalty.
The violence in Reservoir Dogs is not as shocking as some claim it to be. For the most part, violence is played out, just off screen, although one often sees blood splattering in front of the camera. One of the most shocking scenes is when Mr. Blonde is torturing a policeman and he cuts off the cop’s ear. However, before Blonde cuts his ear, the camera moves away, so that one is left looking at the wall of the warehouse, hearing the screams of the cop.
Although this movie may at first seem brash, violent, quickly paced and out of sequence, when one sees the movie with in its entirety and concentrates on the movie, and thinks about what is happening, it is actually a superb picture. It is important that the viewer looks past the veneer of violence and swearing and looks deeper into the meaning of the film, it is a truly enjoyable and thought-provoking film. Some viewers will have to put aside their standards to tolerate some of the less desirable aspects of the movie, I am sure that any discerning viewer will gain from watching Reservoir Dogs.