Pulp Fiction (1994 USA)

PF is sick slop geared towards video store geeks. Why is this flick so bad? Its like asking why is Barbra Streisand so ugly? She just is. Pulp Fiction, similarly, is a byword for cheap, profane nastiness. Watching this causes your brain to shut off for two and a half hours while a man with a God complex strokes his ego. I can understand to some extent why it is so popular. And as for padding Quentin did achieve something remarkable: every awful stretch of dialogue is dragged out as long as it will last, and then some. It’s as if Tarantino said to himself “I think I can cram two more f words and one more line about milkshakes in here”.

Ultimately, Pulp Fiction is a prime example of what happens when a VCR and a wide selection of movies replace film school. The film is too large in scope to sustain itself, and in the end, implodes because there is no conviction behind the presentation – its too concerned with being a hipster-cool riff on a crime story, rife with pop in-jokes and 70’s music (perhaps the best part of the whole shebang is the soundtrack). The Cannes/Hollywood hype must have neglected to mention that Pulp Fiction goes nowhere and lacks the momentum to even get there. It seems more like something that was made for the sake of just committing something to film and resurrecting the flagging career of aging gay boy, John Travolta.

Supposedly we’re getting an homage to film noir and hardboiled fiction novels of the 40s, done up in a modern story theme. It seems the key to Tarantino’s storytelling is tossing together story elements inside a blender. They emerge as a mess. Tarantino is so ridiculously in love with the sound of his own voice as spoken by different actors that he is afraid to cut one speech or even a single line. The sad thing is, I don’t believe that some of these actors were acting at all. They were just being themselves. Travolta and Jackson in wigs??? That was scary! The violence is just so gratuitous and casual as to make it seem like a bad video game. The hugely overrated trivial chatting, the moral vacuum, no authentic character development, let alone any human feelings. All this Pulp Fiction has, and a whole lot less.

PF is grossly self-indulgent, filled with idiotically implausible situations: like people firing powerful handguns repeatedly, simultaneously and then hanging around chatting as if nobody would ever report the firing and summon the law. The most implausible character of all is played by Mr Tarantino, who shouts at the two hoodlum killers as if they were playmates from school and complains that his wife will divorce him if she returns from work to find a car in the garage containing a man with his head blown off. He hurls the N word in all directions with a smug authority. The camera later gratuitously shows us his black wife, even though she has nothing to do in the story. This is supposed to exonerate his rantings. A free pass. Straight from the ghetto! Where is the moral compass of the people who revere this schoolboy nonsense? What about the infamous interracial homosexual rape scene? Turns out to be a few voices shouting from behind a door. Such desperation sums it all up, really.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: