Thursday, April 11, 2013

Reservoir Dogs

I only recently saw Quentin Tarantino's first film Reservoir Dogs. More focused than most of his movies (but by no means a tight narrative, this being Tarantino), Dogs follows a group of criminals. The story slowly unfolds, using flashbacks to tell the audience important--or just diverting--information. All we know for sure is that a heist went terribly wrong. 

The men only know one another's code names. The shrewd (or paranoid) Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) suspects there was a betrayal, but Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) lives by an older creed, and finds it difficult to imagine that any of the men he worked with are less than "honorable." Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) has been shot and will bleed to death if he doesn't get medical attention. The rest have either died or scattered. 

Needless to say, the movie includes trademark graphic violence, artful cinematography, and moments of pathos. Scenes are long and self-conscious, full of dialogue both relevant and random. The recognizable cast fit their roles perfectly, from Michael Madsen as the crazy Mr. Blonde to Chris Penn as Nice Guy Eddie, son of big shot Joe Cabot (Lawrence Tierney). While they are all varying degrees of lowlifes, make no mistake, they have no problem murdering policemen or people who get in their way. Yet several appear to hold genuine, even tragic, affection for another comrade.

Reservoir Dogs is recommended viewing for Tarantino fans and one of his funniest and most emotional pieces.

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