Pulp Fiction (1994)
“I do believe Marsellus Wallace, my husband, your boss, told you to take ME out and do WHATEVER I WANTED. Now I wanna dance, I wanna win. I want that trophy, so dance good.” ~ Mia Wallace
Pulp Fiction in many ways has become iconic in a way that most of us remember certain scenes and images more than we recall the film in its entirety. I would guess that there are even those who have never seen the film who feel as if they almost have because of the iconic nature of it. I feel like nearly everyday I run across an image from the film, or a reference of some kind, and though I know that may be due to the circles, and the cinematic and music fan neighborhoods, I ride around in, I still do believe it has almost become trapped in the prison of its memorable scenes. It seems perhaps a silly thing to say because do we not all, as writers and filmmakers, musicians and artists, long for our work to be seen and felt by the masses? But, at what point do the masses become nothing but overwhelm?
Regardless, the film still remains one of my favorite cinematic works, and definitely would make the list of my favorite ensemble cast movies. Pulp Fiction is overflowing with sharp wit, action, hit hard images, stellar dialogue, brilliant performances and one hell of a soundtrack. I still remember how it felt to sit in a theater, back when people were still smoking inside so that it almost felt like we were all together watching in someone’s home, or a darkened bar, and how I was blown away by what I was watching. It is worth a re-watch if you have the inclination to do so, especially to take in all those iconic moments and images all tied together, the way the film was meant to be consumed.
Mia is one of my favorite characters, though I am often not completely sure why. Perhaps it is the way we see Mia as so strong and sure, confident in an almost devil may care way, witty in that way that suggests arrogance, but then we see underneath it all, we see her addictions, her insecurities, and a very stripped down side of her, especially in the conversation at her front walk, all wide eyed and more than shaken up, she looks younger, smaller, and so fragile. There is complexity in Mia that is handled so brilliantly, especially when one stops to realize how few scenes we really have to get to know her. Mia always resonated with me, a character I could all to often relate to, at least from a certain part of my life.
Mia and her “ketchup” joke
Vincent and Jules are certainly not good people, not by any societal parameter or moral compass kind of way, but yet, there is something likable about them. I think, for me, it is their friendship, and the way that despite being two very different people, they seem to connect, amuse and understand each other in more than a “buddy cop” male friendship on film kind of way.
Royal with cheese
Esmerelda, to me, is the chorus of Greek and Shakespearean tragedies, the audience’s inner thoughts speaking out, and a temporary narrator. She asks the questions we want to ask, even the ones that would expose our darker sides, and she seems to unveil the character of Butch in more ways then we see in his other dealings with characters. I do wish that they had incorporated the character of Esmerelda into other parts of the film, perhaps being the taxi ride through line that corded and connected all the other story lines. Nonetheless, I am glad to have “met” her, on-screen.
Mia, Vincent and foot massages
First and Final scenes
Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon :: Urge Overkill
You Never Can Tell :: Chuck Berry
Son of a Preacher Man :: Dusty Springfield
If Love is a Red Dress (Hang Me in Rags :: Maria McKee