Pulp Fiction is a highly stylized and classic film released in 1994 and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Pulp Fiction has become a cultural touchstone. It influenced many classic works such as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels(1998), The Boondock Saints (1999), Lucky Number Slevin (2006), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), and some other movies. The movies also have unique and similar nonlinear storylines and dark humor styles. Let’s dive deep into the plot of Pulp Fiction.
The Pulp Fiction story is not presented chronologically, leaving the audience to put up pieces together. The creative narrating style makes it successful and unique in the film industry. It tells the story of people whose lives intersect in the criminal underworld of Los Angeles. It starts with two hitmen, Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson), on the way to their job to deal with a drug dealer, but Vincent is asked to take care of his boss Marcellus (Ving Rhames) ‘s wife, Mia (Uma Thurman), for an evening.
The story then follows Vincent as he takes Mia out on a date. Mia accidentally overdoses on heroin, and Vincent must take her to the home of his drug dealer, Lance (played by Eric Stoltz), to save her life. The following story introduces Butch (Bruce Willis), a boxer who has been paid to throw his next fight. Butch double-crosses Marsellus and wins the match, which leads to bloody consequences on the run.
The soundtrack in Pulp Fiction is famous as the movie itself, which includes a mix of classic rock, soul, surf rock, and pop. Primarily it features classic hits from the 1950s and 1960s. The most classic moments with music, including the opening credits, feature Dick Dale’s “Misirlou’ and Uma Thurman’s dance to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell,” which brings the movie fun and lightness.
Quentin Tarantino is notable and controversial for his depiction of violence. Pulp Fiction’s brutal and graphic violence is often juxtaposed with witty dialogue and humor. It also presents violence as an integral part of the criminal world that the characters inhabit. By depicting violence graphically and viscerally, Tarantino may be critiquing the genre’s conventions while paying homage to its tropes. Famous scenes include ‘adrenaline shot,’ ‘gimp,’ ‘The Samurai Sword,’ and ‘The Bullet in the Head.’
The critical part of Pulp Fiction is the use of witty, irreverent, and laden pop culture references dialogue. The film often mentions highly stylized dialogue like fast food, TV, and music. Pulp Fiction’s talk has been praised for its realism, authenticity, and ability to capture the essence of the criminal underworld. It’s a testament to the film’s enduring popularity that its lines and quotes are still referenced in popular culture today.
Nonlinear narrative, eclectic soundtrack, and graphic violence contribute to a unique experience of Pulp Fiction. Watch it without interruption. Pay special attention to the film’s use of pop culture references, humor, unique storytelling, and violence depiction. After multiple viewings and deep analysis, you will have a deeper appreciation of it.