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Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs

A group of bank robbers tries to identify the rat in their team after a botched robbery where they were surprised by cops.

This is the first mainstream Quentin Tarantino movie. The unique voice in the DNA of this movie comes from the vulgarity in the dialogue and at the same time the freshness of dialogues.The vulgarity is in the topics and the point of view of characters. One of the key aspects of Tarantino is that he walks the talk. All the controversies before his movies are met with commercial and critical success.Controversy makes a movie memorable in the history of Hollywood , but only after its a successful movie. A controversial bomb is bound to be forgotten. Similar to James Cameron. When you are spending 500 million $ on avatar , you better deliver and he does time and again. Same with Tarantino.He is cocky but he backs it up with goods.

So the story-line comprises of present and flashbacks which introduces the relationship between characters. The flashbacks are not to introduce each and every character. They are there to introduce key relationships that are essential for the story. Harvey Keitel's white is the "good" guy among the bunch. His relationship with Tim Roth is the crux of the movie. This movie also highlights Tarantino's love for gore. Here is the thing with gore and blood. It has to be earned. The movie has to be awesome without them and these elements should enhance its awesomeness. Most amateur directors kind of use violence and gore as selling point of the movie and that is not good.

For example, a movie like Hostiles starts off with violence. So the director is using violence to get the attention of audience. Which is a cheap technique. From then on, the movie is very episodic. The risk in that movie is the fact that it has zero commercial appeal. But there is no brilliance in terms of story telling. Reservoir dogs is a talky movie with guns. Its never a blockbuster material.But the fact that the dialogues have so much uniqueness is what's appealing. Eureka moments should not come out of blue. You make a point and then there has to be an undertone of that point through out the story. So, in a murder investigation plot the reveal can't be in such a way that a guy who has been there all along is the culprit out of the blue. We need to be in on the reveal but the way the events unfold has to be unique. Shock and suspense is not the answer. However, since it is the first film of Tarantino, the story points are still not gelling together. You can see the inner workings of the writer through the movie.

Audience are introduced to Tarantino violence. It is The kind of violence which makes audience enjoy the violence because both parties deserve the violence. From a criminal perspective, the cop deserves to be hurt and from the cop's perspective he was gonna do the same with criminal. Speaking of the heart of the movie, the way Tim Roth gets himself involved in the gang is by telling a story. Its a very good resume. He, step by step convincingly tells how he got out of a tough spot. Surprise in a normal movie feels like a gimmick. But if your whole movie is on a heightened plane, then the surprise adds to the momentum of the movie. So that's where the brilliance of Tarantino shines bright. Now , the movie might feel dated. But then, the movie was revolutionary in terms of dialogues.

The ending did not land that strong for me. The betrayal of Harvey Keitel's trust by Tim Roth landed 95% but not full 100% in terms of intended effect. But the tough spot Tim Roth is in is very interesting. He is an under cover cop that gets shots on job and the decision by Harvey Keitel not to take him to a doctor is very understandable as he may rat. The choice to make the son of the guy who set up the robbery a character in the movie is a very interesting concept. It is because of him a three way Mexican stand off happens in the movie.All in all, the movie is very indicative of the way Tarantino makes movies to come. He melds the story the way he wants. Consequences are often ignored. Criminals have codes and rules. Loose canons are more often treated as real human loose canons as opposed to someone who is unhinged from the get go. One of the looser ends of the movie is the decision by Tim Roth to shoot Michael Madsen when he is torturing the cop. He gains nothing by doing that other than doing it out of kinship for his fellow cop. Luckily Tarantino doesn't dwell on the mystery of why he shot him because his cover is blown immediately. That reminds us again what the focus of the movie is and that is the bond between Keitel and Tim Roth. From the get go Keitel was vouching for Tim Roth and saving his life and that gives ownership over Tim Roth's life to Keitel. He can choose whatever he wants to do with his life. So, in the end when Tim Roth really does have a chance to survive the whole ordeal it is taken away by Keitel after learning of his betrayal.

The thing about this movie is that it makes you care for fictional characters for no other reason except their circumstances.Even these guy are robbers.So that gives us a little insight into the kind of movies Tarantino wants to make. For him its all about actions. The consequences are taken care by him. He soften's the blow of the consequences by exaggerating it and making it feel inconsequential. So audience will only remember the actions from the movie. The whole consequence of robbing a jewel store is dealt with such an entertaining manner that no one watching the movie feels the horrible situation these guys are in. Hope is kept alive till the last frame. Its a great debut.