Pulp Fiction has always been one of those films that I feel like I should watch even if it has never been on the top of my priorities list. The dialogue is supposed to be some of the best and the film itself is generally known as a bit of a classic.
While I cannot say that it is going to the top of my favourites list, I can’t deny the film was a good one. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting even though it has come up in several conversations I have been part of. In a way, I think that helped rather than having firm expectations.
With a split narration, the film follows four stories: Vince, Jules, Butch and a couple intent on robbing a diner. Their lives are entwined through violence and the hope for some sort of redemption.
The stories are not told in chronological order, but instead are interweaved with one another, especially that of Jules, Vince and the couple. Butch’s story takes place in the middle and shows things are out of order by some of the events that take place that are no longer apparent by the time it cuts to the next story.
Vince and Jules are hit-men with an interest in having philosophical debates while tracking down their target. Butch is a boxer on the run from their boss after he refused to throw the fight. That same boss, however, ends up being the man he helps to save. The couple – Ringo and Yolanda – want to try their luck one last time and accidentally hit the wrong diner when they encounter Vince and Jules in the process.
As far as explaining the plot, that is about as far as I can go. There is no clear direction, no apparent conclusion when you’ve already been shown the end conclusion for at least one of the characters at an earlier point. It is true the dialogue, however, is superb. There are not many films that can have a long conversation about a burger and add so much meaning and tension into it.
Pulp Fiction is the type of film that reminds a viewer that it is not always the storyline that makes a powerful film. The shots, the dialogue, the characterisation are all far more important in a film like this and it is what makes it work. If things were not delivered in the right way, the film held the risk of becoming long and boring with not a lot happening inbetween. Instead, it carries itself off brilliantly and has become a well-known film to some, and a classic to others.
While I’m not sure if it is one I would hurry back to watch again, nor am I certain I quite understand what the hype is about, I can definitely appreciate a well-scripted film when I see one. It is one that I am glad to say that I have seen even if it is just to form my own opinion on it one way or another.