Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tarantino's Magic Bullets

Writer-director-actor Quentin Tarantino has given us many memorable cinematic experiences with his quirky dialogues and unforgettable characters. As his latest film Django Unchained unleashes in the theatres, here are five immortal monologues from the films of this cleft-chinned modern master

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney) addressing the five criminals who don't even know each others' names, says, "So, you guys like to tell jokes, huh? Gigglin' and laughin' like a bunch of young broads sittin' in a schoolyard. Well, let me tell a joke. Five guys, sittin' in a bullpen, in San Quentin. All wondering how the f*** they got there. What should we have done, what didn't we do, who's fault is it, is it my fault, your fault, his fault, all that bullshit. Then one of them says, hey. Wait a minute. When we were planning this caper, all we did was sit around tellin' f***in' jokes! Get the message?" The no-nonsense interaction between the gangsters who suspect one of them is a police informer, was Tarantino's claim to fame.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Jules Winnfield (Samuel L Jackson), a short-tempered paid assassin, has a phrase memorised. It goes, "Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those, who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you. (Gun shots)." Rest assured, those are the last words one hears.

Kill Bill Vol 1 (2003)

The film opens to a face of a dying Uma Thurman with a man's voice addressing her. He says, "Do you find me sadistic? You know, I bet I could fry an egg on your head right now, if I wanted to. You know, Kiddo, I'd like to believe that you're aware enough even now to know that there's nothing sadistic in my actions. Well, maybe towards those other... jokers, but not you. No Kiddo, at this moment, this is me at my most...(cocks pistol) masochistic." With nothing but words, Tarantino establishes the principle characters and justifies the motives for a saga of revenge that follows.

Kill Bill Vol 2 (2004)

One of Tarantino's specialties is he introduces a new way to kill somebody with every film. Here, as Budd (Michael Madsen) is dying after being bitten by a Black Mamba; Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah), the ferocious lady assassin with an eye patch, coldly explains to him how he will die: "The venom of a black mamba can kill a human in four hours, if, say, bitten on the ankle or the thumb. However, a bite to the face or torso can bring death from paralysis within 20 minutes. Now, you should listen to this, 'cause this concerns you. The amount of venom that can be delivered from a single bite can be gargantuan. You know, I've always liked that word...gargantuan ... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence. If not treated quickly with anti-venom, 10 to 15 milligrams can be fatal to human beings. However, the black mamba can deliver as much as 100 to 400 milligrams of venom from a single bite."

Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), in his opening remarks to the eight Jewish-American soldiers selected for a unique mission to kill Nazis, says, "...but I got a word of warning for all you would-be warriors. When you join my command, you take on debt. A debt you owe me personally. Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps. And all y'all will get me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis. Or you will die tryin'. You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'." And there it is; you know this is no ordinary action film.

Published in DNA After Hrs (Pune) on March 22, 2013

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