“Revenge is never a straight line. It's a forest, And like a forest it's easy to lose your way... To get lost... To forget where you came in.”
The year was 2003, my friends and I wanted to check out a movie and despite not knowing much about film back then, we decided Kill Bill seemed like an interesting choice. I’ll never forget what an amazing experience I had that day as I was being introduced to Quentin Tarantino’s wacky and bizarre characters. I had only heard of his other films but had never watched them so this language was new to me. No one writes characters like Quentin Tarantino does and perhaps that is why I have more affection for this film than I do Pulp Fiction (although I absolutely love it as well) since it was my introduction to his mind. It’s hard to put into words how I feel about this film. It was impossible to shake off the unique experience of witnessing the Bride’s wrath unfold as she awoke from her four year coma only to find out that she’d lost her unborn baby and her soon to be husband in a church during her wedding rehearsal. Who was this Bill guy and how could he do such a terrible thing? Why would he send his team of personal assassins to kill her? Tarantino decides to take Hattori Hanzo’s own advice about revenge not being a straight line and present this revenge film in non-linear fashion. It’s up to us to piece the scenes together and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it was! The action scenes are highly entertaining and over the top, and the film works as a modern homage of the Japanese films Tarantino grew up loving. Kill Bill is as stylish as it gets. There are very few films that manage to deliver such an amazing visual style and combine it with such an elaborate narrative. Substance and style fit in perfectly in Tarantino’s world to deliver another masterpiece. As much as I was blown away by Volume 1 (and I think it is a much more entertaining watch), I still regarded Volume 2 as the better half since we get more of Tarantino’s wonderful dialogue and everything is executed with perfection.
“When fortune smiles on something as violent and ugly as revenge, it seems proof like no other, that not only does God exist, you're doing His will.”
Just like Tarantino’s film, this review is all over the place. It’s hard to organize my thoughts and try to write a coherent review. There is so much that one can say about this film, but there is no way I can leave out the performances. Uma Thurman has never been better and I’m sorry but there is no other female character that stands a chance next to her. Once we are introduced to David Carradine as Bill in volume 2 our hatred towards him begins to shake as it’s impossible not to feel some degree of sympathy for his character. The scene where he sits down with her and begins speaking to her about superhero mythology is fascinating. Our disgust towards Bill isn’t close to the level of hatred we feel for the other villains, like Lucy Liu’s O-Ren Ishii who is a completely threatening one. There is a memorable scene where she executes her wrath towards one of the Yakuza bosses who questioned her. The face off between her and the Bride at the end of the first Volume is also gorgeously shot. Then there is Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver, perhaps the most hateful villain in this film. With her one-eyed patch and her non-stop whistling she was a delight on screen and an excellent match for Uma Thurman. I still can’t get over that whistling tune she constantly hummed. Both Michael Madsen and Vivica Fox also get their opportunities to shine as part of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, but it’s Thurman who carries the film from beginning to end. There is not a moment in the film where the pacing begins to drag, everything is perfectly tuned and Tarantino’s symphony has been perfectly orchestrated. The soundtrack to this film is simply amazing and it plays a huge role in the story as well.
“It was not my intention to do this in front of you. For that I'm sorry. But you can take my word for it, your mother had it comin'. When you grow up, if you still feel raw about it, I'll be waiting.”
And I will be waiting for that third volume as well. Bring it Tarantino!
“The lioness has rejoined her cub, and all is right in the jungle.”