Pulp Fiction

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I don't think it would be presumptuous to say that since Pulp Fiction's first release in 1994, the standard for truly amazing crime dramas has been raised. With this film, Quintin Tarantino redefined an entire genre and took the bar up a notch.

Not to say that this is a sophisticated piece of work- it's the opposite of sophistication. But it's the raw guiltlessness that makes it such a joy to sit through. Artful in it's artlessness, Pulp hands you the pieces to a complex puzzle one at a time and lets you put them together. All the characters, central or not, are connected by a string of sin, consequence and (for some) redemption that keeps them intertwined even before they've met.

Many films of this genre I've seen are so completely nondescript that I end up forgetting them in a few years time- but there's no doubt in my mind that Pulp will stick with me for God knows how long. In this, Tarantino has proved (at least to me) that he can create a memorable piece of work without the use of gaudy, tasteless violence and mind-blowing action scenes. He utilizes his ability to do unique stylizations of each scene, making it arty, but not too.

From the dance scene between John Travolta and Uma Thurmon to Samuel L. Jackson with mutton chops and a goatee, Pulp manages to meander from story to story, scene to scene with effortless boorishness and disquieting ferocity. The actors ooze tenacity and confidence in their characters from the moment they enter the scene to the time they leave it, melting into their rolls almost immediately.

And unlike other movies, this one does not strive to be compassionate, it doesn't try to have a moral or a happy ending. The dark comedy and unforgiving stature of it are the only two things that come naturally to this film, and the director and actors don't try to force anything else from it. You can disregard everything I've said beforehand- if you're going to watch Pulp Fiction, this is the reason you should.





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