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Kill Bill August 15, 2006

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

This is my first Quentin Tarantino movie (his fourth) and he is excellent (for all practical purposes, this is one movie though it is released in two volumes). His command over technique and style is apparent from the very first scene of Vol I. Though we tend to hold Hollywood movies in high regard this kind of style is absent in most of them. This movie is extremely violent. The blood in Vol I could probably fill a pond. I wonder if there were some sensitive audience members in the theatres that were barfing due to all the blood on the silver screen. The number of different (and extremely imaginative) ways to kill people in this movie is probably a record for a movie by far. Tarantino tries to bring all his influences and ideas for this genre and fills this movie resulting in the over 4 hour length (112 min for Vol I and 136 min for Vol II and the pacing isn’t exactly what most audiences would like). I don’t know if I can recommend this movie to anyone. Those who like style/action/extreme violence/Tarantino might enjoy this movie. I liked this movie a lot and thats for various things other than story and entertaintment in a conventional sense (it has its share of humor though).

It has to be said that Vol I and Vol II are very different. Vol I was mostly style, action, violence and blood. The story was conspicuous by its absence. So I really did not expect much more from Vol II. But Vol II has something you can call a story. It has more dialogue, less action and very less blood compared to Vol I (apparently 41 people are killed in Vol I and only 3 in Vol II). Yet this movie is not about the plot as much as it is about the style, technique and humor. This one could really be called an international movie with Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, French and Spanish accompanying English. Apparently Quentin Tarantino has paid tribute to innumerable movies of this genre from various countries that he loves (including many B-graders). Check out the trivia on IMDB or Wikipedia to note his tributes (to various influences) in the movie. Due to a lack of knowledge of these movies, I did not get most of the tributes. The Q & U at the end of Vol II is apparently Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thruman. I am not sure that Uma actually contributed to the writing.

There seems to be some Indian connection that I can’t restrain myself from mentioning. The five-point-palm-heart-exploding technique looks straight out of Shankar’s Bharateeyudu/Indian (not the five steps part though). I don’t know if both were influenced by the same source or if it was just a coincidence (the Marmakala in that movie was supposed to be an Indian martial art). Another interesting thing is that Kamal Haasan used animation in certain violent sequences in the movie Abhay which was released in 2001 much before Kill Bill.

If I had to pick one violent scene from each volume as my favorite, my pick from Vol I would be the killing of Boss Tanaka by O-Ren Ishii (O-Ren threatening to collect more heads holding Tanaka’s head in her hand and the blood fountain were excellent) and from Vol II it would be the killing of Elle by Kiddo (the eyeball squishing is, for lack of a better word, crunchy).


1. Shujath - August 15, 2006

My favorite violent scene of the lot is Daryl Hannan’s eyeball crushing scene. Also, that fight with the Jap school girl in Vol 1. I’ve seen all of Tarantino’s films except for Jackie Brown. Kill Bill series probably the most entertaining of them all.

In fact Kill Bill is his only movie which actually has a storyline (no matter how minimal)….Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are more of incidents filled with interesting and witty conversations..of course with liberal doses of violence.

The common factor in all his movies is the non-linear format of narration which ultimately is his biggest USP. I also read a few days back that some telugu director was remaking Kill Bill by Aarti Chabbria :):) whoever gave him that idea!

Hmm…interesting observation about the use of animation in Abhay. I really liked it in Abhay, very novel concept to depict hallucination occuring from drugs.

Also, Kill Bill was being scripted by Tarantino and Uma Thurman since 1994 when Pulp Fiction was made…the IMDB information is correct.

But this is something which a normal moviegoer will not enjoy. This is strictly for people who can watch a movie without preconcieved notions of what a movie should be like.

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