Vantage point

Monday, November 24, 2003


I am a lazy guy, who loves to watch movies lying down. So yesterday, I put on this movie, and lie down on the bed, covering myself with a blanket because of the mild winter chill that is making an entry into Lucknow. My mom and dad always had a snide remark or two to pass about my preference for being horizontal.

They would have been shocked when about 5 minutes into the movie, I was sitting bolt upright, at the edge of the bed, my mouth agape and my eyes wide open. And I was in that posture till the end of the movie, and a few minutes later. This was the first action movie to have had this effect on me in years. The movie which seems to work on the "shock and tickle" principle.

The movie was Quentin Tarantino's fourth film - Kill Bill Vol. 1

Compared to his earlier movies, KBV1 has more of shock and less of tickle.It spills enough blood to feed a country for vampires, and yet it comes out looking classy. Tarantino has this gift of making blood and gore seem routine, even funny, as was seen in Pulp Fiction when Travolta accidently shoots an accomplice in the head.

I had one grouse though it might be unfounded. Whenever someone's head or limb was cut, blood gushed out like water from a torn hose. It seems as if all the characters in KBV1 have an extremely high blood pressure. :) But at no point did I feel that the movie got too bloody-gorey. Its overall spellbinding effect immunes you to the violence. Somewhat, though not entirely, like the excessive violence in Tom n Jerry cartoons.

The background score is brillllllllliant, phenomenal, and I am going to hunt for a CD of the Kill Bill sound track in Lucknow.

The performance of the movie for me was not Thurman, but Chiaki Kuriyama who played Gogo.

Best moment - When after slicing up about a hundred Japanese mafiosos with 'Japanese steel', Black Mamba takes the last remaining one, and spanks him, telling him to go to his Mom. ROFL!!!

Favourite name - O-ren Ishii....I have been repeating the name to myself since yesterday. Am gonna name my daughter that.

If I start raving too much about the movie, I will not do the work I have lined up for this afternoon.

But let me say this - Kill Bill is to action movies what operas are to music.

Bring on Volume 2!

p.s- Most of what is happening in the movie is straightforward and there are no real suspenses. I am left with only one question at the end of the movie. Why is Black Mamba's real name beeped out? Is it just to dehumanise and zomby-ise her character? All the other members of the Black Viper Assassination Squad have their names revealed, and also some human side of them, like O-ren's parents or Copperhead's daughter. There is no human side of Black Mamba. Maybe in the next volume we will see that, because the movie ends with the line "Does she know her daughter is still alive?"

p.p.s. Corny Kill Bill joke for people who grew up in Maharashtra and saw Mumbai Doordarshan
Q What are the forthcoming movies of Tarantino?
A 'Sundar Maajha Ghar', 'Kridaangan' and 'Aamchi Maati Aamchi Maansa'