Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #69 Reservoir Dogs

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 at 1:52 AM

Movie #69 Reservoir Dogs

(1992, US, d. Quentin Tarantino)

An incredible homage to old Hollywood and modern culture, Reservoir Dogs is a heist film in which no one actually ever sees the heist. Instead, the audience is only privy to the events before and after the job. Things naturally hit the fan and all of the members of the heist are separated. Tarantino weaves an awesome cultural powerhouse whodunnit out of an obviously low budget and a lot of zesty dialogue. It’s so inspring to be absolutely absorbed by non-consequential and mundane dialogue that Tarantino writes into his films time after time but it’s also equally humbling to see a filmmaker take that dialogue and make it tense. It reminds me of an anecdote Alfred Hitchcock used to tell students: Take a conversation between a few friends at a dinner table. They’re talking about baseball. Let it last for eleven or twelve minutes, and suddenly a bomb goes off. The audience reacts with a WTF. Now take that same conversation again and instead, tell the audience that there is a bomb and it will detonate in ten minutes. Suddenly that conversation becomes more than mundane and more than inconsequential. It becomes riveting. And those two minutes when the bomb doesn’t go off will hold them at the edge of their seats. The magic of Tarantino is that he is able to produce the same effect without telling the audience that there is a bomb under the table. Like all of his films, one can point to the many movies that the ex-video store employee used as inspiration. This is the second time I’ve seen the film and though it doesn’t have the same “re-watchability” factor that its successor Pulp Fiction easily possesses, if you haven’t seen this film, I recommend renting it because it’ll take you on a ride when you watch it for the first time.


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