The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tarantino Review - Reservoir Dogs


After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. "Reservoir Dogs" was the film that put Quentin Tarantino on the map. This was the first film he directed, and it was done with such class that you are left stunned that this was his rookie film. The directing, the producing, the plot, and the acting were sublime. For a story line so straightforward, the actors had a real challenge to highlight what their characters are all about. But, surprisingly, every actor did his job just fine, giving us a great performance, making us believe that they were real criminals in a documentary.

The film features a non-linear narrative which puts a refreshing spin on the typical beginning, and end archetype. These flashbacks allow the viewer to piece together the heist; basically giving the viewer a chaotic feeling much like the films characters. It also allows for some entertaining dialogue: the conversation between Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) discussing the psychotic Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) going trigger-happy at the bank. Their discussion paints a menacing picture in our heads; so when Mr. Blonde is finally revealed we realize his subtle, malevolent nuances. Speaking of Mr. Blonde his torture scene is one of the most gruesome, and hilarious scenes (he listens to Stealer's Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You") ever filmed

The film feels fresh not because it is gritty, and violent; the film takes a genre which is innately violent, and infuses it with witty dialogue. It gives it's characters an arc not usually associated with crime films. Cynical character's who talk about day to day pop culture, albeit it is a bit more vulgar... they're gangsters after all.


"Reservoir Dogs" isn't for everyone. It's rough, tough, gruff and at times sickening. But if you can handle some very strong violence and language, then this film is for you. It's got some amazing talents, some fairly unknown at the time, bringing together one masterpiece of a film under the direction of a man who quickly became one of Hollywood's greatest auteurs.

Oh yeah, and Mr. White mentions previously being partnered up with a woman named Alabama. I think we can figure out which ending to "True Romance" is canon to Tarantino's world from that.

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