“This non-linear format could be disorienting for audiences and hence hard to follow, especially seeing as this format is not regularly used. However, each story is distinctly separated from the other with the use of title cards, so any immediate confusion should be dismissed fairly quickly…” Extracts from a script report by our trainee Jamie White, based on a reading of the Quentin Tarantino script PULP FICTION: CLICK HERE
TITLE: PULP FICTION LOCALE: Los Angeles
AUTHOR: Quentin Tarantino SETTING: Urban
GENRE: Primary: Crime
Vincent Vega: (20/30s) White (M). A cocky young mob hitman who works for Marcellus Wallace.
Jules Winnfield: (20/30s) Black (M). Mob hitman for Marcellus Wallace and Vincent’s partner in crime.
Marcellus Wallace: (40s) Black (M). A very big, powerful and intimidating man. A crime Kingpin who has a lot of control in L.A.
Mia: (20/30s) White (F). Mischievous and often doesn’t take things seriously. Almost childish. She is the precious wife of Marcellus Wallace.
Butch: (26) White (M). Professional boxer, a well-built guy, having killed an opponent during a match. He is deep in love with his French paramour, Fabien.
Pumpkin: (20s) British, white (M). A young man from Britain with an ability to sweet-talk. He is over-confident when it comes to robberies but still wary of things that can go wrong. Boyfriend to Honey Bunny.
Honey Bunny: (20s) White (F). An emotional, hysterical at times, young woman. She is madly in love with Pumpkin with whom she robs various establishments with.
Winston Wolf: (50s/60s)(M). A smooth talking, tuxedo wearing gentleman. He is a “fixer.” He solves problems for Marcellus Wallace that require his special set of skills and efficiency.
Logline An anthology of four different stories, told from four different perspectives, set in the crime thriving suburbs of Los Angeles.
PROLOGUE/EPILOGUE: A young couple (HONEY BUNNY(f)/PUMPKIN(f)) are talking in a coffee shop and then, suddenly, they engage in holding the place up. VINCENT and JULES are there. They have recently got back from an apartment where they killed a few men and survived certain death. Jules manages to calmly defuse the situation without killing anyone (he is a changed man after everything that’s happened). Honey Bunny and Pumpkin are let go with what cash they already have and Jules and Vincent promptly leave.
STORY 1, “VINCENT VEGA AND MARCELLUS WALLACE’S WIFE”- Set after the Prologue/Epilogue. Vincent is tasked with looking after MIA, the wife of MARCELLUS WALLACE, a crime kingpin and his boss. Vincent meets Mia at the Wallace house and they leave soon after. They go to a 60s diner for food and dancing. They have a great time and are comfortable around one another. Back at the Wallace residence, Mia finds the heroin Vincent bought at his dealer’s (LANCE) place earlier and sniffs it like cocaine. Vincent then takes her now lifeless body to the Lance’s place. At Lance’s, they find an adrenaline shot and amateurishly inject it into Mia’s heart. She screams but is ok now. Vincent takes her back home and they agree to NEVER tell Marcellus about this.
STORY 2.”THE GOLD WATCH”- A 5 year-old Butch is told a long story about his father from an army friend and is given a watch. Back in the present Butch is eager to leave the area where he just had a boxing match; his opponent is dead and Marcellus is not happy about it. Butch learns of this in a taxi ride. Later he is eager to collect his winnings and run away with FABIEN. Butch arrives at a motel where Fabien is. They’re in love and plan to run away. The next morning they prepare to catch a train but Butch can’t find his watch, which he finds infuriating and scares Fabien. Butch goes back to his seemingly untouched apartment to grab his watch. He finds it but someone is there. Vincent comes out of the bathroom and Butch shoots and kills him with a silenced gun. After leaving, Burch runs into (literally) Marcellus and totals his car. A dazed Marcellus runs after Butch and they enter a pawnshop. The pawnbroker keeps the two of them hostage. The broker has a friend come over and they bring out their pet gimp. The two take Marcellus away. Butch manages to get free and incapacitate the gimp. He then goes to free Marcellus, killing one of the perverts and Marcellus takes care of the other. The two reach a mutual agreement. They’re cool. This allows Butch to leave town with Fabien just as they planned.
STORY 3. ”JULES, VINCENT, JIMMIE AND THE WOLF” – Carrying on from Jules and Vincent’s prologue and their miraculous survival. The have taken one of the young men from the apartment with them, but Vincent accidentally kills him in the car. The car is covered in blood. Jules calls his friend, JIMMIE, for help. Jimmie is not pleased with the situation. They have an hour and a half to sort this out before his wife gets home. Jules calls Marcellus who sends the Wolf, a fixer. He whips Jules and Vincent into shape as they clean the car, move the body to the trunk and change out of their bloody clothes, all before Jimmie’s wife gets home. They take the body to a local tow truck business to dispose of. Mr. Wolf leaves with his girlfriend after Jules and Vincent thank him. The two men then decide to go get breakfast. This leads into the Prologue/Epilogue at the coffee shop.
The linear chronology of the story is as such: JULES/VINCENT PROLOGUE – STORY 3 – PROLOGUE/EPILOGUE (in the coffee shop) – STORY 1 – STORY 2. This non-linear format could be disorienting for audiences and hence hard to follow, especially seeing as this format is not regularly used. However, each story is distinctly separated from the other with the use of title cards, so any immediate confusion should be dismissed fairly quickly.
Character development, even when a non-linear plot is used, must still make sense. For the most part, this applies to Vincent Vega as he appears in each story (although very briefly in some.) He doesn’t develop a huge amount but that is not to say the development is wrong or poor. In fact, it fits in well with his character arc as a whole leading to his ultimate demise.
After Jules and Vincent survive the apartment shooting they act very differently. Jules wants to retire from this business and leave it all behind; he obviously doesn’t want to die this way. Vincent, on the other hand, thinks Jules is making too much out of this and carries on with his work. After the epilogue (chronologically) Jules does not appear again and presumably lives and retires, Vincent carries on with his work and is inevitably killed. This is a nice piece of irony and duality. One man leaves when he can and survives, the other continues and lives. The way in which Vincent dies is also reminiscent from the apartment shooting. He and Jules survive a man shooting at them after coming out of a bathroom, but after he comes out of a bathroom, he is the one who dies…
This anthology style of story-telling has been successfully achieved by the SIN CITY movies, the first of which nearly made quadruple its budget. MOVIE 43 was another anthology film and made over five times what it cost to make. The anthology format allows for an ensemble cast that will only appear for brief portions of the film, allowing for less payment per actor…
This is a very rich story with a great chance of excelling at the box-office and worthy of a recommendation.
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