Reservoir Dogs Reservoir Dogs is a film that captures the relationship between men, helping us as the viewer step

into the conversations and the bond that men share. The film uses interesting cuts to give the audience the information needed, directing their emotional state of mind whether it is compassion or empathy for these characters that have been betrayed by one of their own. The film is fueled with violence and blood and a clever colour pallet that makes the colour red so vibrant. The music in this movie flows smoothly throughout each scene genuinely feeling as if it belongs there. The film’s structure starts by engaging with the end of the film, cutting from the title sequence off the men walking to their car and then a juxtaposed scene of Mr Orange bleeding in the back seat of a car. Almar Haflidason from BBC movies explains that, “Tarantino exploits audience savvy preferring to build anticipation, mesmerize, and then cut away at the climax”( Haflidason, 2000). Tarintino sets up the audience deliberatley throwing the audience directly into the story allowing the audience to wonder what’s happening. He feeds the story to the viewer bit by bit uncovering what’s happened in the story. When he has us on the edge of our seats he’ll cut to something else. He did this with the scene of the officer getting his ear cut off. He builds up to the scene, and the viewer is anticipating for this viscious attack to happen. Then Tarentino pans away not showing us the act of the ear being cut off but through the cheerful music playing loudly and the background screams of the officer the audience can presume that the act has been done. The pan it self felt as though it was held a bit longer than needed to add to the anticipation of the next scene of this man with one ear.

Figure 1. Reservoir dogs after the fight.(1992)

The film took place mainly in an abandoned warehouse, the getaway rendezvous. The environment was empty with pale walls and it seems to add to the tension in the characters being in this claustrophobic environment with hot headed men. Figure 1 shows one of the rooms in the warehouse and the walls are a green colour, Mr White and Mr Pink are in the middle of their argument pointing their guns at one another. The room with the green rooms was a great contrast to the amount of blood seen in this environment, allowing the colour of blood to come across very bold and vibrant. This still shows the climax of their argument and is an example of why being in this environment for long periods of times makes the characters anxious resulting on them turning on one another. The film uses humour in a very clever way to undermine the violence used, the music used also helps to adds to make the punch lines in the film more effective. The Empire review explains that “the humour is juxtaposed with a series of increasingly harrowing events” (Empire.s.d). The scene that uses this effectively is the ear scene when Mr Blonde is dancing cheerfully to cheesy 70’s music, cuts of the officers ear and pretends to talk into it. Although this scene is violent and disturbing the audience is compelled to laugh at his joke.

Figure 2. Reservoir dogs the show down. (1992) The betrayal revealed in the end added a bit more to the scenes as Tarantino drip feeds us this information before showing us the final shoot out. Figure 2 shows Mr White, Jo and his son ready to shoot one another and Mr Orange bleeding to death. The scene has an old western feel and ends dramatically with everyone being shot. The person that everyone feels sympathy for is Mr White because he defends Mr Orange to the end even getting shot to save him from being killed. The final scene when Mr Orange reveals his true identity evokes sadness when you

see Mr White realize he was wrong to stand up for this man and takes his revenge by shooting Mr Orange. The title starts to make sense after the end of the film; the word reservoir means a natural or artificial water supply that is stored. The reservoir in this film can be seen as the warehouse and the dogs are the men who one by one are being stored in this environment. Philip French from the observer further explained the title by saying “Tarantino’s characters are a band of canine scavengers living by their own values on the outskirts of society.”(French, 1998). The men are a lot like dogs, dominated by their base animalistic impulses, if they feel threatened they immediately what to fight instead of rationally talking about their problems. The characters also separate themselves from society by taking part in this criminal world it appears as if they live in a parallel universe in their minds where anything outside of their bubble is against them or easily disposable. This can be seen when they shoot the police and push or shoot the civilians out of their way when they were escaping from the failed heist.

Haflidason, A (2000). Reservoir dogs 1992. At:
Empire.(s.d). Reservoir dogs. At: (12.02.2013)
French, P.(1998). Post-Haste to a bloody post-heist conclusion. At:,6903,796908,00.html (12.02.2013) Illustration list Figure 1. Reservoir dogs after the fight.(1992). From Reservoir dogs. Directed by: Quentin Tarantino.[Film still]. At: (12.02.2013) Figure 2. Reservoir dogs the show down. (1992) ). From Reservoir dogs. Directed by: Quentin Tarantino.[Film still]. At: (12.02.2013)

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