Pulp Fiction, quite possibly the best film in Tarantino’s oeuvre, is the next title in the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film comedy section for me to take a look at.
While not necessarily a full-out comedy, it is neither a full-out drama nor thriller either. What it does have is a fantastic soundtrack, a top-drawer cast, and whip-smart dialogue. John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson headline a cast that includes Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Bruce Willis, Christopher Waken, Rosanna Arquette, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Eric Stoltz.
With timelines that interweave through flashforwards and flashbacks, the film is a massive two and a half hours that flies by as we follow these characters through some fascinating tales.
Travolta and Jackson are the hitmen, Vincent and Jules. Jules is having a crises of faith about continuing the job after a ‘miracle’ occurs, and Travolta, is dealing with having to take his boss, Marsellus’ (Ving Rhames) wife, Mia (Thurman) out for an evening. Bruce Willis is Butch, a boxer, who is caught up with Marsellus, a watch and a couple of hillbillies who run a pawn shop. Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer provide the wrap-around tale as a couple who are planning their next heist, and all of it wraps up in a fantastic and entertaining bow.
Like an onion, there are layers aplenty in this film, little nods to pop culture, homages, the film is steeped in a hyper-real world where the locations are uber-cool, and almost everyone you meet seems capable of hip banter.
I love this film, there isn’t a missed beat in the entire film, and Tarantino, with this film, truly demonstrates he’s a master filmmaker, and one that loves movies. He also gets great performances from his actors, and this is the film that helped revitalize Travolta’s career in the mid-90s.
It’s been pointed out that there really is nothing new to say about this film, it’s been analyzed and covered to death, and I’m sure I really don’t have much to add to the conversation, except to share my love of the film, and wish that I could write such strong dialogue (though not all of it always works for me).
What I do love about Tarantino films, and what I always look forward to, is his choice selections of music. The man has a great ear for music that will work in his films, and each one of his soundtracks is wonderfully eclectic, and each one has introduced me to a song or two that I may never have learned about.
All of his films have a place in my collection, each one loved for different reasons, but Pulp Fiction will probably be the one film people point to when they discuss Tarantino in years to come.
What about you? What is your favorite Tarantino film and soundtrack?