Pulp Fiction

Cinemaster Score: 9.5/10

Overall Review

Pulp Fiction is one of the best in the crime genre as a whole. Every single element of it is compounded into something amazing. The cast is outstanding and each of the actors involved defines their careers in major ways. The acting becomes enhanced even more when paired with the casual, thought-provoking script. Add another layer and you find the variety of characters. Characters that steal the show with their presence. Then there’s the actual story stringing the other components together. The story in Pulp Fiction is one of the best, but it does go a little overboard in an occasionally uncomfortable manner. It is also told uniquely with it being chronologically sporadic. This way of telling the story makes it more enjoyable for more hardened fans but can detract from any average viewer’s experience. Pulp Fiction is one of the best examples of how artful directing can be with Quentin Tarantino putting it all together in his own way and making it fully his. Tarantino is never shying from his subject matter and proves to be a top director in the business with this near masterpiece of a film.

The Breakdown

Acting; All of Quentin Tarantino’s films are known well as to have star-studded casts. In his second film at the directorial position, Tarantino reels in some of of Hollywood’s biggest names. Among these actors is Samuel L. Jackson. Jackson offers a captivating performance that makes scenes with his presence more enticing. Uma Thurman has a similar effect, putting the well-written script to great use and building her iconic character with her acting abilities. Then are the more surprisingly good performances. John Travolta, for example, proves himself in the most defining role of his career. Bruce Willis – who hasn’t had many inspired performances in a while – was also interesting to watch in Pulp Fiction. Even side characters for the movie were played by big names such as Ving Rhames and Christopher Walken. These actors, all impressive and together at once, make the flick even better.

Script; Tarantino is a master storyteller and the way he writes his films reflects that. Pulp Fiction is the director at his absolute best. Every single scene has a memorable line to it – and that’s a credit to Tarantino’s unique writing style. Nearly every character is well rounded and full of depth thanks to the outstanding writing – especially Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules Winnfield, who steals the show. The dynamic he has with John Travolta’s character Vincent Vega is one that is immediately captivating and full of an eccentric energy that drives the film’s best scenes. The remainder of the cast are equally as well-written and the characters they play are just as intriguing. Pulp Fiction is a sprawling tale full of many interconnected stories and for many movies, this can be troubling. But – thanks to a tight script full of exciting dialogue and unparalleled depth – Pulp Fiction remains on another level.

Characters; Pulp Fiction has some of the best characters put to screen. We have the iconic Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson), who spouts bible verses just as nonchalantly as he threatens lowlifes. Or the wonderfully oblivious Vincent Vega (John Travolta), who makes the most dramatic of situations a comic delight. These two characters compliment each other perfectly and they are accompanied by a diverse cast of eccentric supporting characters. Mia and Marsellus Wallace (played wonderfully Uma Thurman and Ving Rhames) are just as unique and brilliantly written as our main duo of “protagonists” – providing us with some truly memorable scenes. Every character – from Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) to Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe (Harvey Keitel) – is given a multifaceted personality. These characters are some of the best in movie history and that’s what puts Pulp Fiction in a league of its own.

Direction; The direction for Pulp Fiction is extraordinary. When taking time to try defining it, there are few words that can do his work justice. Quentin Tarantino had a knack for directing early on and his ability is extremely impressive, especially in consideration that Pulp Fiction was only the second film Tarantino had directed. Tarantino’s style in storytelling is quite unique and memorable. He casts actors that are fit for their roles. Then you take a look at the story he’s putting together and it’s stunning. Albeit amazing, Tarantino adds a classic touch to Pulp Fiction in switching up the chronology of the story to different places. It’s a change many can’t pull off, but Tarantino does with success and only loses some of the audience in the process. Tarantino’s combination of telling this already unique crime story and giving it the spices of his style makes for one of the best flicks of all time – from one of the best directors at its head.

Story; As mentioned earlier, Tarantino is a master storyteller. His craft is unmatched in many regards – his films stories told in the most unconventional of ways. He takes Pulp Fiction (a near 3 hour film) and uses every minute of it to tell his most experimental story yet. The plot revolves around 2 hitmen (played by Travolta and Jackson) as they become entangled in the life of their boss (Rhames), his wife (Thurman), and an assortment of other characters. What makes this story so different is how it is told – with multiple time jumps, plot twists, and an unconventional plot structure that does little to hold the audience’s hand. The way Tarantino balances every aspect of this story is nothing short of masterful, with most of it played out through brilliant dialogue and character interactions. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, Tarantino subverts your expectations – turning Pulp Fiction from a simple crime drama to a film that’s story is still passionately dissected to this day.

Enjoyment; Pulp Fiction is one of the most oddly enjoyable movies for audiences. Much of the film is made up of scenes representing the darker side of society. However, it’s those scenes that capture audiences. Most are caught up in the intrigue of a world unknown to them. Occasionally, Pulp Fiction does get a little over the top and becomes uncomfortable for viewers. Those who can deal with it though, are in for a ride that is – at the very least – entertaining. The characters are fun to watch and command the spotlight when on screen. There are some random, unexpected moments throughout that keep the audience engaged with the film as well. Although, the movie has a weird way of organizing the plot that can almost feel too confusing without either thinking about it for a while or rewatching it. Fortunately, the rest of the film is good enough to indulge in rewatching it and enjoy yourself each time.

Personal Review

David: “This was my first viewing of a Tarantino film and it got me hooked on one of my now favorite directors. His way of telling a story – and the story he tells in the first place – is quite amazing to see. Pulp Fiction will inevitably be remembered as a classic and I recommend taking the time to see it for yourself”

JP: “The first time I watched Pulp Fiction, I knew it was something special. The way everything was presented – from the excellent dialogue to the unique story structure – was so different from anything I’d ever seen. It’s one of Tarantino’s best, and this film should be at the top of your must watch list.”

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