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What to Watch: “Pulp Fiction” provides many twists and turns

Today, we see boring films with lifeless characters and flat story plots. But in 1994, legendary director Quentin Tarantino gave us the unique and fantastic film called “Pulp Fiction.” Just over 20 years have passed since this film opened in theaters, but it stands as one of the best films ever made with a massive cult following and critics still praising the film.

Not many films present themselves quite like “Pulp Fiction” does. The story is set out of order, with numerous intersecting storylines that involves Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. But, with all of these stories together, it makes “Pulp Fiction” a great film.

The film opens with a husband, “Pumpkin” (Roth) and wife, “Honey Bunny” (Plummer) sitting at booth in a diner talking about past robberies that have committed.

They converse about how a place like the diner they are in is a good place for a robbery. Pumpkin tells his wife to steal the patrons’ wallets to double their profits. With their minds set, the couple pull out pistols and proceed to stick the store up.

The film cuts to the next story with  Vincent Vega (Travolta) talking to Jules Winfield  (L. Jackson) about his time in Europe, where he lived for a year. He tells Jules of hashish bars in Amsterdam, where patrons are served food with marijuana baked inside, and the McDonald’s  “Royale with Cheese” in Paris.

The two are on their way to retrieve a briefcase from Brett (Whaley) who has violated the rules set in place by their boss, Marsellus Wallace (Rhames). While waiting for the “proper entrance” time Jules tells Vincent that Marsellus threw a man off a roof for giving his wife, Mia (Thurman), a foot massage.

Vega and Winfield enter Brett’s apartment and are confronted by two goons. Vega spots the briefcase as Jules talks with Brett. He asks him why he crossed Wallace, but one of his goons answers for him. Angered, Jules recites a Bible passage and executes Brett.

In an empty bar, Marsellus Wallace is talking with aging boxer Butch Coolidge (Willis). Butch accepts money from Wallace and agrees to take a dive, or a faking a loss, in his next fight.

Vega and Winfield give Wallace him his briefcase and is happy to see Vega is back from Europe. Vega and Butch briefly cross paths, with Vega looking disapproval of him. This foreshadows a later scene.

Vega is then told to watch over Wallace’s wife Mia while he is out of town on business. Vega then drives to Lance’s (Stoltz) house to buy high-grade heroin. He departs, gets high, and drives to Mia Wallace’s house.

Once there, the two have drinks and talk about why Vega works for Marsellus. The two then drive to Jack Rabbit Slims. A 1950s themed restaurant, to enjoy a meal and participate in a twist contest. Back at Mia’s place, Vega goes to the bathroom and readies himself to leave.

Meanwhile, Mia begins to drink and snort cocaine. She does one line too many and overdoses. Vega leaves the bathroom to find her on the floor. He then drives, in a fury, to Lance’s house to save her. They inject her with an adrenaline shot and depart. Mia and Vega say their goodbyes and agree to keep the incident to themselves.

A young Butch ( Lindauer) is watching television when he is interrupted by Captain Koons (Walken) of the U.S. Army as he explains a gold watch. He tells Butch that his father has died in a POW camp in Vietnam and that the watch he gave him is a family heirloom that is to be given to every man in the Coolidge family.

Koons explain that he had to hide the watch in his rectum to prevent the Viet Cong from finding it. A bell dings as Butch flees the ring after winning the game he was supposed to lose.

Butch flags down a cab and escapes, narrowly, from gangsters. He learns from the death-obsessed cab driver, Esmarelda Villa Lobos (Jones) that he killed his opponent. Butch then remembers that he had bet the money Wallace gave him on himself. Butch returns to his apartment and leaves with his girlfriend. Fabienne (Medeiros) to find somewhere to lay low.

The next morning, Butch and Fabienne are staying a run-down motel on the other side of town. He discover that Fabienne forgot to pack the gold watch. Furious, Butch leaves the motel and heads for his apartment. Butch arrives at his apartment and quickly finds the watch. Upon leaving, Butch stops for a snack and notices a machine gun lying on the counter.

He hears a toilet flush as Vincent Vega enters the kitchen. The two engage in a standoff, but ends with Vega being killed by a blast from the machine gun as Butch was startled by the toast popping. Vincent Vega is dead.

After leaving the apartment, Butch speeds off but his held up at a stop sign. At that moment, Marsellus Wallace walks in front of his car and recognizes Butch. Butch punches it and slams into him, just as a car wrecks into Butch. He then wakes up in a basement and hears Marsellus being tortured.

Butch escaped the basement and begins to leave, but grabs a pump shotgun and a katana from the pawnshop and heads back down stairs. Butch kills Maynard (Whitaker) and rescues Marsellus and leaves him to torture Zed (Greene). The two settle their differences and Butch leaves Los Angeles for good.

Back at Brett’s apartment, Vincent Vega and Jules Winfield are about to leave the apartment as another man bursts out of the bathroom and shoots wildly at Jules and Vincent. Astonished that he missed every shot, Jules accounts their luck as an act of God. The two leave with one of the goons, Marvin (LaMarr).

In the car Jules and Vincent are still debating their luck and the act of God they experienced. Vincent turns around to ask for Marvin’s insight, but he accidentally shoots him filling the car with a fine layer of red brain matter.

The two miraculously make it to a friend’s house without drawing any suspicion whatsoever. They are greeted by Jimmie Dimmick (Tarantino) who is nervous that his wife Bonnie will return home to see the mess. Jimmie calls his cleaner, a person who destroys criminal evidence, Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe (Keitel).

The Wolf orders Vincent and Jules to clean the car, hide the body in the trunk, dispose of the car and change their clothes. They are hosed off in Jimmie’s backyard and are both handed ill-fitting clothes. The two drop off the car at a junkyard, that is owned by Raquel (Sweeney) who disposes of such materials. Jules and Vincent depart from the junkyard and head for breakfast together.

Sitting in a diner, Jules and Vincent are still talking about the miracle they experienced earlier, but are interrupted when the diner is being robbed.

Pumpkin confronts Jules and orders him to hand over his wallet and pistol. Jules then begins to tell him why he has chosen a life of crime, and tells him that he (referring to Pumpkin) has little time left in a world of crime. He lastly explains the purpose of miracles, and how he has finally decided to leave his life of crime.

With many twists and turns, "Pulp Fiction" never fails to please (Courtesy of
With many twists and turns, “Pulp Fiction” never fails to disappoint (Courtesy of

Vincent and Jules hand over their cash and pistols and leave the diner with the briefcase, signalling that Jules has completed his last job in the life of crime.

All in all, Pulp Fiction is a unique film that must be seen to experience some of the most in-depth plots and engaging storylines to ever be created into a motion picture.

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