Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs
Originally uploaded by complejidadciclomatica
I heard Quentin Tarantino say once that he made a film before Reservoir Dogs that wasn’t worthy to be melted into guitar picks. Luckily Reservoir Dogs is good for a lot more than guitar picks.

The story of Reservoir Dogs is simple; a crime boss has a fence for some uncut diamonds that he wants to steal from a local diamond wholesaler so he hires 6 goons to pull the job, it should be simple – in and out. However, the actual heist goes sour fast and the goons that do manage to escape begin to think that there is a rat in their midst and they begin to tear each other apart.

This story is simple, but the way it is told is not. Tarantino blazed on the scene by making a film that was beautifully complex and layered and just off-beat enough to really sink in. It’s told through two time lines: the present and flashbacks for each important character so you can see how they got there. We are lulled into complacency with a witty speech about Madonna’s Like A Virgin and why tipping waitresses should not be a societal norm, then we are plunged directly into the after effects of the heist without ever seeing the actual heist.

This film would not be as entertaining as it is without a cast of phenomenal actors to fully realize the quirky characters within. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) is the hardened con who has done time for his boss and lost a bit of his sanctity for human life along the way. Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) os the old and wisened criminal who wants out of the heist clean but feels ultimately responsible for the bullet Mr. Orange took to the gut. Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) is the nervous, by the book con who wants to split. Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) is the undercover cop, shot in the gut. Mr. Brown (Tarantino) is the cheeky criminal who doesn’t make it out of the heist. All the performances are great, and the flashbacks are phenomenal. With each one we learn something else about the character and how they have gotten into this situation.

Tarantino is known for making super-violent films. However, while violence does occasionally bother me, I am the first to say that of all the films I’ve seen Tarantino does violence and gore in some of the most artistic ways I’ve ever seen. Reservoir Dogs is no exception. The Tarantino scene that shocked the world is in this film – and it is surprisingly less gory than you’ve been led to believe. Mr. Blonde chops off a bound and gagged police officer’s ear…and it is nail biting and stomach turning, but you actually don’t see a dang thing.

With this film Tarantino took the film world by storm, and I hope to emulate that someday as well.

Writer & Director: Quentin Tarantino
Mr. White: Harvey Keitel
Mr. Orange: Tim Roth
MR. Blonde: Michael Madsen
Mr. Pink: Steve Buscemi
Mr. Blue: Eddie Bunker
Mr. Brown: Quentin Tarantino
Eddie: Chris Penn
Joe: Lawrence Tierney
Officer Nash: Kirk Baltz

Joe: With the exception of Eddie and myself, whom you already know, we're going to be using aliases on this job. Under no circumstances do I want any one of you to relate to each other by your Christian names, and I don't want any talk about yourself personally. That includes where you been, your wife's name, where you might've done time, or maybe a bank you robbed in St. Petersburg. All I want you guys to talk about, if you have to, is what you're going to do. That should do it. Here are your names...Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Orange, and Mr. Pink.
Mr. Pink: Why am I Mr. Pink?
Joe: Because you're a faggot, alright?

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