About the pulp fiction movie

Tools    





Hi guys,

So I just saw the pulp fiction by Quentin Tarantino because I have heard so much good about it. But when you hear so much about a movie, you expect something exciting to happen, so I was constantly thinking that at some point, the story will become very exciting or so. But nothing happened! So I watched the movie which was pretty much long about 2:45 hours, and nothing happened. I mean, it was just an ordinary day for some random gangsters. Then I asked myself, what was the purpose of the movie? Did the movie want to convey a special message? But when I think more, it doesn't have any meaning. It was just a meaningless movie without a proper story. Just to show the 3 or 4 superstars together and that is it.
Pretty much the same thing happened in his latest movie "Once upon a time in Holleywood" but this movie had a beautiful message which was to refer to the death of Sharon Tate. So, Tarantino wished that the fortune would let Bradd Pitt kill those terrorists so that Sharon Tate would be safe on that night. But not such backstory exists for pulp fiction.
will you leave a comment on that?
Thanks



The trick is not minding
Not all films have some hidden message. Sometimes itís about the technique used to tell a story, although there is definitely some religious themes in Pulp Fiction if you look hard enough.
For example, the suit cases contents, and its combination to unlock it (666).
The driving intervention that saves Travolta and Jackson and his subsequent conversation about it.



Welcome to the human race...
On a fundamental thematic level, Pulp Fiction is about redemption. Each of the three main chapters revolves around a criminal - Vincent in "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife", Butch in "The Gold Watch", Jules in "The Bonnie Situation" - who is ultimately given a chance to atone for their misdeeds, which forms the climax of each segment. Each one essentially involves saving another person's life - Vincent saves Mia from a heroin overdose, Butch rescues Marsellus from Zed and Maynard, and Jules saves not just himself (figuratively speaking) but Pumpkin and Honey Bunny during the diner confrontation. Of course, there's also the matter of there being some sense of commitment to that redemption and how each segment differs in specific ways - Vincent may save Mia's life, but it is arguably out of self-interest (if Mia dies, he dies) and he pays for his continued activity in Marsellus's organisation with his life. Contrast that against Butch or Jules, whose segments are driven by their attempts to leave behind a life of crime and are given the opportunity to take the easy way out (Butch could leave Marsellus to die, Jules could shoot the robbers) but the fact that they take the more difficult yet honourable option allows them to survive. The best way in which the film illustrates that is through Jules' Bible quote - at the beginning of the film, he uses it as an intimidating speech he gives before murdering someone without giving much thought to its true meaning. However, at the end of the film he reuses it on Pumpkin but this time he actually thinks about what it means (especially to him) and how its meaning has changed as he prepares to move on from his old ways. It may be a comparatively simple message about how crime doesn't pay, but that's still better than saying that it has "no message" or even that "nothing happened".
__________________
I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



Yeah, Pulp Fiction is way overrated. If you want the better film of that year (for which Quentin Tarantino wrote the story), then watch Natural Born Killers; it is far superior to Pulp Fiction.



Pulp Fiction was like a bolt of lightning to American cinema when it came out. I remember our absolute shock when we saw it in the theater. Most Americans had never seen anything like it and it is pretty brilliant and almost assuredly Tarantino's best work and one of the most interesting films of the 1990s. I have heard that that doesn't seem to translate to younger people who have seen so many movies that were inspired by it (and believe me it pretty much inspired its own subgenre of film) before they actually saw PF.
I would wonder if you could watch something like Le Samourai and appreciate it for what it is or if it would just feel like a day in the life of a hit-man.



Tramuzgan's Avatar
Di je Karlo?
This "redemption" thing is bull. Pulp fiction is an homage to classic gangster stories, and it was so well-recieved because of the execution. The stories weren't made to resonate with anyone, just to be fun to watch.


I do think it's pretty overrated, but it has an appeal of its own. You gotta know what to expect before you dive into it.



Welcome to the human race...
Hey, OP's whole point was asking if there was some greater message to it so I decided to answer with an explanation of why I thought that its whole message is centred around redemption and cited parts of the text that back that interpretation up. Honour amongst thieves is a common thread through most movies Tarantino's written and the gangster movies he's paying homage to (the easiest point of comparison is City on Fire and Reservoir Dogs with their plots about undercover cops that bond too well with their targets), so I drew on that to explain the movie's point. If you're going to disagree that that is the underlying point of Pulp Fiction (or even argue that there is no point whatsoever), then you've got to be able to back that up instead of just saying it's "bull" and leaving it at that.



This "redemption" thing is bull. Pulp fiction is an homage to classic gangster stories.
It can be both. Not sure why we are drawing a distinction here. All sorts of classic gangster films have deeper undercurrents running beneath them. Watch Melville, if you haven't. He's already been mentioned above, but he is probably the perfect example of this.

Personally, I don't require any deep subtext for Pulp Fiction to qualify as a great movie. But just because I'm not looking for it when I'm watching, doesn't mean I haven't read reams of great analysis of the film and the ideas Tarantino is playing with. Again, films can be two different things at once. PF can simultaneously be both a deep or shallow end movie, depending on who is watching and what they are getting out of it.



Welcome to the human race...
I think it's a problem where so much of the analysis surrounding the film settles for surface-level navel-gazing, most obviously how the biggest point of contention is the briefcase and what's inside it. It is telling, though, that the favoured theory is that it's Marsellus's soul - not only is it a more fantastic answer than some mundane crime thing like gold bars or diamonds but it also ties into the aforementioned ideas of good and evil that are presented throughout the film.



Yeah but you should all know by now that you're not allowed to have a different opinion on the interweb
__________________
Originally Posted by doubledenim
Garbage bag people fighting hippy love babies.

Bots gotta be bottin'



Tramuzgan's Avatar
Di je Karlo?
Did ''bull'' sound like an insult? I didn't mean any offense by it. Just saying, the idea of redemption isn't what inspired these stories. It's a secondary thing at best.
And not that there's anything wrong with a film having no ''deeper meaning'', quality unpretentious entertainment is still worthy of respect.
__________________
I'm the Yugoslav cinema guy. I dig through garbage. I look for gems.



I agree with that, however, my point is why it is so famous? There are lots of other mediocre movies with the same theme. Let's ask it in another way: What features of this movie makes it to become one of the best movies in history by critics and IMDb and etc. ? Did they just rate it because the director was a famous guy? or the movie itself has some potential?

Not all films have some hidden message. Sometimes itís about the technique used to tell a story, although there is definitely some religious themes in Pulp Fiction if you look hard enough.
For example, the suit cases contents, and its combination to unlock it (666).
The driving intervention that saves Travolta and Jackson and his subsequent conversation about it.



That was a very teaching review. Thanks
On a fundamental thematic level, Pulp Fiction is about redemption. Each of the three main chapters revolves around a criminal - Vincent in "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife", Butch in "The Gold Watch", Jules in "The Bonnie Situation" - who is ultimately given a chance to atone for their misdeeds, which forms the climax of each segment. Each one essentially involves saving another person's life - Vincent saves Mia from a heroin overdose, Butch rescues Marsellus from Zed and Maynard, and Jules saves not just himself (figuratively speaking) but Pumpkin and Honey Bunny during the diner confrontation. Of course, there's also the matter of there being some sense of commitment to that redemption and how each segment differs in specific ways - Vincent may save Mia's life, but it is arguably out of self-interest (if Mia dies, he dies) and he pays for his continued activity in Marsellus's organisation with his life. Contrast that against Butch or Jules, whose segments are driven by their attempts to leave behind a life of crime and are given the opportunity to take the easy way out (Butch could leave Marsellus to die, Jules could shoot the robbers) but the fact that they take the more difficult yet honourable option allows them to survive. The best way in which the film illustrates that is through Jules' Bible quote - at the beginning of the film, he uses it as an intimidating speech he gives before murdering someone without giving much thought to its true meaning. However, at the end of the film he reuses it on Pumpkin but this time he actually thinks about what it means (especially to him) and how its meaning has changed as he prepares to move on from his old ways. It may be a comparatively simple message about how crime doesn't pay, but that's still better than saying that it has "no message" or even that "nothing happened".



The trick is not minding
I agree with that, however, my point is why it is so famous? There are lots of other mediocre movies with the same theme. Let's ask it in another way: What features of this movie makes it to become one of the best movies in history by critics and IMDb and etc. ? Did they just rate it because the director was a famous guy? or the movie itself has some potential?
QT wasnít really famous at the time. He had directed one other film previously. *



Yeah I think "Wooley" pretty much gave the answer. The style of the movie at that time might have been the starter of a new genre, and something that people hadn't seen before...

QT wasnít really famous at the time. He had directed one other film previously. *



I agree with that, however, my point is why it is so famous? There are lots of other mediocre movies with the same theme. Let's ask it in another way: What features of this movie makes it to become one of the best movies in history by critics and IMDb and etc. ? Did they just rate it because the director was a famous guy? or the movie itself has some potential?
The film was groundbreaking for several reasons: most notably, its broken chronology, which was not new, but wasn't used that frequently, or at least not as well as it's used here. Also, the way Tarantino incorporates his homages to classic cinema and pop culture, or his use of music, the fast-paced, witty dialogue, the incorporation of dark humor with violence, and finally, the rebirth of John Travolta's career. All of those are factors that contributed to its popularity.

I, for one, think it's an excellent film. Iroquois' post was incredibly insightful, but on top of that, it's a whole lot of fun.
__________________
Check out my podcast: Thief's Monthly Movie Loot!



Welcome to the human race...
Did ''bull'' sound like an insult? I didn't mean any offense by it. Just saying, the idea of redemption isn't what inspired these stories. It's a secondary thing at best.
And not that there's anything wrong with a film having no ''deeper meaning'', quality unpretentious entertainment is still worthy of respect.
Yeah, well, I suppose either of us can only guess as to what percentage of Tarantino's inspiration comes from either simply referencing other works or consciously thinking about themes and messages, but in the end we only have the work to judge and when people ask what Pulp Fiction is ultimately about, "redemption" is my go-to answer. It may not be the deepest film ever made, but it's not completely lacking in meaning and that is why it endures beyond its surface-level thrills and humour. Even a film that seems like shallow fun usually becomes a classic precisely because it is substantially more resonant than other films like it.

I agree with that, however, my point is why it is so famous? There are lots of other mediocre movies with the same theme. Let's ask it in another way: What features of this movie makes it to become one of the best movies in history by critics and IMDb and etc. ? Did they just rate it because the director was a famous guy? or the movie itself has some potential?
There is the novelty of a sprawling crime anthology told using a non-linear timeline that made it unlike just about anything else coming out of American cinema at that time, which was only bolstered by the indelible writing when it came to dialogue and characterisation (the latter of which was helped was an excellent cast even in one-scene roles like Walken giving the gold watch monologue) and general sense of timeless coolness (for a film made and set in the '90s, so much of the aesthetic is a mashup of styles from the '50s, '60s, and '70s) so it was really just a near-inexplicable blend of cinematic alchemy. As others have noted, it is just a fun watch and it almost helps that it doesn't beat you over the head with its message either (such as it is).



Pulp Fiction is one of the best films of the 90's and is top-tier postmodernism, imo. The dialogue, music, plot structure, and character arcs haven't aged a bit and, while it may not be the most complex film ever made (which I don't see as a flaw, by the way), it's definitely entertaining as all hell and it's not so much the redemption themes in and of themselves which keep me coming back (though, they're still impressive) as much as it's the stylistically impressive ways these themes are delivered, whether it be the aforementioned Bible quote, the pawn shop sequence, the climactic sequence, the framing of the briefcase, or
WARNING: spoilers below
Vega's death.
Tarantino is a master when it comes to style and this film is one of the best implementation of his talents, imo. Really, I don't buy the notion that nothing happened in this film one bit. If that was the case, then it wouldn't have ever reached the status it has now.



Im not really sure what Pulp Fiction is, but I like it.



I agree with that, however, my point is why it is so famous? There are lots of other mediocre movies with the same theme. Let's ask it in another way: What features of this movie makes it to become one of the best movies in history by critics and IMDb and etc. ? Did they just rate it because the director was a famous guy? or the movie itself has some potential?
The director was nearly unknown when this movie was released. This is the movie that made his career.