Click here to buy Amazon movie bestsellers

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Quentin Tarantino is extremely famous for his 1994 picture 'Pulp Fiction' starring John Travolta, but he had made a name for himself right from the first picture he did called 'Reservoir Dogs', released in 1992. It was an independent picture, but boasted of a pretty good cast and made a lot of name for itself, and continues to make a name for itself on the DVD circuit. It shook audiences all over with its pace, scenes incorporating flashbacks from the past, and the sheer poetry of the action (mostly in a warehouse).
The tagline for the movie was a good indicator of how the movie would be like: "Seven Total Strangers Team Up For The Perfect Crime. They Don't Know Each Other's Name. But They've Got Each Other's Color". The movie was a good indicator of how Tarantino's movies would turn out - lots of references to pop culture, violent crime, great dialogues, and a story that moves back and forth between the past and the present.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

The movie stars an impressive cast of people in the main roles of the perpetrators of a jewelery heist, but without disclosing their names (they are named after colors - Blue, White, Pink, Orange, Brown, Blonde). The cast of the movie is:

# Harvey Keitel as Mr. White / Larry Dimmick
# Tim Roth as Mr. Orange / Freddy Newandyke
# Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde / Vic Vega
# Chris Penn as "Nice Guy" Eddie Cabot
# Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink
# Quentin Tarantino as Mr. Brown
# Lawrence Tierney as Joe Cabot
# Edward Bunker as Mr. Blue
# Randy Brooks as Holdaway
# Kirk Baltz as Marvin Nash

And that is the main cast of characters. There is no female speaking role in the movie, truly making this a man's movie - guns, violence, action, shootouts, and so on. Surprisingly, for a movie that is seen as such as a landmark and the first film of an accomplished film-maker, the origin of the movie was on a very small scale. Tarantino (working as a store clerk) was going to shoot it on the overall budget of $30,000 with a very limited cast. However, Harvey Keitel got to see the script, and wanted to get involved, including putting in 1.2 million dollars of his own money for financing, and appearing as one of the pivotal characters.
The movie does not have a complex story, primarily focusing on the aftermath of a jewelery heist that goes bad (police get involved and hostages get shot). There is no footage of the actual heist, the story is more focused on the going-ons when the robbers reach their pre-arranged meeting point (a warehouse). There is an incredible amount of suspicion that the whole plan had been leaked to the police, growing to the point that there is a firm belief that one of them is an undercover policeman.
Joe Cabot along with his son, 'Nice Guy' Eddie hires 6 people for a heist (the 6 don't know each other) - revealed in a flashback (the hiring is done separately for Mr. Blonde, with the others being made the offer in a group session).
The heist is a disaster, with 2 of them (Mr. Brown and Mr. Blue) getting killed while making their getaway, and Mr. Orange getting shot in the abdomen. The robbers reach the warehouse in different groups (with Mr. Blonde having also brought along a captured police officer Marvin Nash). There is an increasing amount of suspicion about one of them being involved in the cops, and (in an iconic scene), Mr. Blonde tortures the police officer with a knife, finally cutting his ear off. However, as he is about to burn the police officer, he gets shot (by the undercover police officer).
This is when the identity of the undercover police officer is revealed to the audience, but the others do not know. As more of them reach the warehouse, there is an immense amount of suspicion and tension, culminating in a Mexican stand-off where they all point their guns at each other, and then.., shoot each other. At the end, the undercover police officer (Mr. Color !) is left, but he reveals his identity (to the person who led the mission and who refused to believe in his guilt) and finally gets shot.
The movie is worth watching, just for the scenes at the warehouse interspersed with scenes of flashback; it makes for a taut storyline, and you can really see the suspicion and tension in everyone's face. If you have not seen the movie, see it and figure out why Tarantino has the reputation that he has gained.

Post a Comment