Reservoir
Dogs
(1992)


(Fig1)
 Reservoir
Dogs,
is
a
crime‐drama,
thriller
film
directed
by
Quentin
 Tarantino
and
released
in
1992.
The
story
revolves
round
a
gang
of
criminals
 and
the
aftermath
of
a
diamond
heist
that
went
wrong.
Those
that
have
made
it
 to
the
rendezvouz
smell
a
rat.
Each
man,
with
a
colour‐coded
pseudonym
to
 prevent
incrimination,
now
believes
one
of
them
snitched
and
is
with
the
cops.
 Ignorant
of
each
other’s
pasts
and
other
lives,
‘They
are
thus
forced
to
make
 judgments
based
on
recent
observation
and
conduct.’
(French,
1993)
So
the
 audience
follows
their
sniffing
around,
trying
to
work
out
the
answer
to
the
very
 same
puzzle.
 
 Beginning
with
a
slightly
bamboozling
scene
of
inane
and
macho
 conversation
about
music
and
the
etiquette
of
tipping,
the
audience
strain
to
 understand
the
babble
between
the
men
in
a
diner.
Having
established
that
they
 all
swear
like
troopers
and
one
miserable
sod,
Mr.
Pink,
doesn’t
tip
waitresses;
 the
credits
roll,
introducing
the
stars
in
a
slow
motion
walk
to
the
cars.
Enter
the
 ‘Reservoir
Dogs’.

(Fig2)
 
 Written
by
Emily
Clarkson


(Fig2)
 
 As
soon
as
the
titles
have
rolled,
the
audience
is
launched
head
first
into
 blood
and
the
screaming
agony
of
Mr.
Orange
in
the
back
of
Mr.
White’s
getaway
 car.
This
theme
of
displaying
the
aftermath
first
and
explanations
later
is
the
key
 feature
of
this
film.

‘Abandoning,
the
conventional
format
of
natural
chronological
 storytelling,
Tarantino
creates
a
tapestry
of
flashbacks
that
cleverly
build
to
a
 conclusion.
This
allows
separate
scenes
to
be
showcased
as
individual
vignettes
 that
the
cast
exploit
to
the
full.’
(Haflidason,
2000)
The
clever
series
of
flashbacks
 from
gang‐member
to
gang‐member
and
back
to
the
present
provides
Tarantino
 with
the
ultimate
cinematic
control.
The
timeline
jumps
around
but
not
in
a
way
 that
is
confusing,
just
enough
to
pique
interesting
of
the
current
situation
before
 cutting
away
to
another
members
situation
or
previous
events.
With
each
 ‘vignette’,
entitled
in
a
similar
fashion
to
Stanely
Kubrick’s
days
of
the
week
in
 ‘the
Shining’,
the
audience
banks
the
information
that
they
gather
about
each
 character.
They
try
to
work
out
what
happened,
the
motivations
of
each
man
and
 which
one
is
the
rat.
 


(Fig3)
 
 The
performance
of
each
actor
is
absolutely
stellar.
Tim
Roth
playing
the
 completely
authentic,
badly
wounded
Mr.
Orange
and
Mr.
White,
as
played
by
 Harvey
Keitel,
makes
for
an
interesting
character
with
his
sudden
almost


Written
by
Emily
Clarkson


paternal
nature.
(Fig3)
The
aforementioned
miserable
sod,
Mr.
Pink,
played
by
 Steve
Buscemi
is
instantly
dislikable
and
completely
effective
as
an
antagonistic
 character.
Tarantino
himself
makes
a
cameo
appearance
as
the
short‐lived
Mr.
 Brown.
The
worst
of
the
bunch,
Mr.
Blonde,
played
by
Michael
Madsen
is
the
 most
sadistic
character,
providing
the
most
horrific
scene
of
the
film.
 His
key
scene
involves
a
cop
that
he
has
taken
prisoner
to
the
rendezvous,
 clearly
angling
for
violence
before
he
wheedles
information
from
him.
 ‘…Proceedings
are
underscored
magnificently
by
a
golden
oldie
radio
station
 pumping
out
a
series
of
bubblegum
hits
from
the
70s.’
(Dawson,
N/A)
With
Mr.
 Blonde
turning
on
the
radio,
waving
a
cut‐throat
razor
around,
the
entire
theatre
 grips
their
seats
waiting
for
the
bloody
horror
to
begin.

The
bubbly
track
on
the
 radio
provides
a
sick
irony
to
the
situation
and
the
psychopath
dancing
his
way
 towards
the
victim
only
makes
viewers
squirm
further.
However,
here,
Tarantino
 takes
another
turn
away
from
the
conventional
depiction
of
violence.’
…[It’s]
 horribly
effective
and
lingers
far
longer
than
the
usual
point
blank
bloodshed
that
 seems
compulsory
in
other
movies.’
(Haflidason,
2000)
Turning
the
a
camera
away
 and
leaving
the
volume
on
full,
both
relieves
and
tortures
the
audience
as
 imaginations
are
left
to
run
wild
as
to
what
Blonde
is
doing
to
the
imprisoned
 cop.
 The
eventual
revealing
of
‘the
rat’
of
the
gang
and
the
subsequent
delving
 into
his
past
leading
up
to
his
predicament
adds
a
whole
new
and
fantastic
 dimension
to
the
story.
The
film
climaxes
with
all
guns
blazing
and
the
 realization
that
audience’s
allegiances
with
characters
have
changed
 continuously
so
that
by
the
end
they
are
rooting
for
the
people
they
least
 expected.
‘Reservoir
Dogs’
is
a
fantastically
put
together
film,
despite
its
violence
 and
bad
language.
It
is
a
film
that
leaves
audiences
reeling‐
in
the
best
way.
 
 


Bibliography


 
 Haflidason,
Almar
(2000)
Reservoir
Dogs
(1992)
 http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/11/21/reservoir_dogs_1992_review.shtml
 
 Dawson,
Jeff
(N/A)
Reservoir
Dogs
 http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?DVDID=6455
 
 French,
Philip
(1993)
Reservoir
Dogs
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/1993/jan/10/features.quentintarantino
 
 Pictures
 
 Fig1:
IMDb
(2013)
Reservoir
Dogs
 http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3874855168/tt0105236
 
 Fig2‐3
:Bfi
(2012)
Reservoir
Dogs
 http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b7ae5cbf0


Written
by
Emily
Clarkson


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