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October 1994


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Shawn Levy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 19 Oct 1994 21:16:55 -0700
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On Wed, 19 Oct 1994, Richard J. Leskosky wrote:
> I greatly enjoyed PULP FICTION and was intrigued by its structure, but I
> also had the impression that Tarantino was playing it safe in one respect.
> The story doubling back on itself allows the filmmaker to kill off a
> likable character yet still show that character alive and charming at the
> end of the film, effectively undoing or erasing the death scene. And so we
> don't leave the theater bummed out by the demise of this character.
I disagree.  I think that the ending of the narrative (i.e., not the
ending of the actual chronology) leaves us with a moral, not a cop-out.
We know that of the two characters who leave at the very end of the film,
one dies and one changes his life.  This knowledge helps us see a message
in their departures, namely, stay in the life and you will die.  The two
characters who leave -- one to roam the earth like Caine, one on a
chopper -- are alive morally and physically.  The one who sticks to his
ways dies.  EVEN THOUGH he's the most loveable, he is still (how else to
put it) a Reservoir Dog, destined to die.
                        |"I'm a multi-faceted, talented, wealthy,
      Shawn Levy        | internationally famous genius.  I have an
  [log in to unmask]   | IQ of over 190.  People don't like that."
                        |                       -- Jerry Lewis