I cannot believe it took me so long to watch this. I’ve had a copy of it for months now but only got around to watching it a few days ago with Maki. Because it’s from Quentin Tarantino, I had expected it to be brutal, violent, and downright gory. Instead I found it extremely hilarious, witty, and inventive. I enjoyed every minute of it, even those times when the on-screen tension had me half-covering my eyes in expectation of gunfire. But even then it was hardly as bad as I had supposed. Hostility remained at a tolerable level, and was not at all the focus of the movie.
Dialogue takes center stage in Pulp Fiction. There’s often so much going on in any one scene, but still I found myself paying prime attention to the eclectic conversations. And it’s not just the actual lines themselves I found interesting. There’s also something riveting in the way the characters say them, effectively drawing viewers into the moment with them. The breakfast scene (Mike’s favorite, I think) typifies this quality extremely well. Plus it’s also one of the most tension-filled scenes in the entire movie. In it, the tension in the atmosphere surmounts line by line even as the characters prate on about hamburgers. The banality of the topic made the anticipation even more excruciating.
Both in form and content, this movie showed a level of inventiveness that is perhaps unprecedented in my meager film-watching history. Upon first watching it, I did not know what to make of it. It was entirely new to me. Presented in a non-chronological manner, the movie interweaves the lives of several characters from the Los Angeles underworld, including the scheming boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis), gangsters Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), as well as their boss’ wife, Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman). In the space of seven sequences, the film creates a plot that manages to be ridiculous, ironic, and strangely acceptable all at the same time. My disbelief didn’t even get a chance to rear its scrutinizing head. I was ready to accept anything the film threw at me, just like that. Because Pulp Fiction is the kind of movie that takes you along for the ride, no questions asked. But trust me, after that ride, you definitely won’t have any complaints either.
‘Now look, maybe your method of massage differs from mine, but, you know, touchin’ his wife’s feet, and stickin’ your tongue in her Holiest of Holies, ain’t the same fuckin’ ballpark, it ain’t the same league, it ain’t even the same fuckin’ sport.’
‘Say ‘what’ again. Say ‘what’ again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say ‘what’ one more goddamn time!’
‘What’s more chickenshit than fucking with a man’s automobile? I mean, don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle.’
‘Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?’ ‘That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.’
‘Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home and have a heart attack.’
‘The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That’s pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps.’
‘I used the same fuckin’ soap you did and when I got finished, the towel didn’t look like no goddamn maxi pad!’
‘I’m Winston Wolfe. I solve problems.’