Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Film reviews - Kill Bill and Mulholland Drive

The new year has started and so has the awesome films along with it, so perhaps I should really get cracking writing some reviews!


Kill Bill

Kill Bill is an intense, mind twisting action thriller film released in 2003/2004. Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino, this film shows no mercy on spilling blood. Starring Uma Thurman as a Bride with revenge on her mind, we never find out her true name to conceal her identity. In comparison to this, we never see the Villain face to face. This film pays homage to the great martial arts films and cultural arts in themselfs, broadcasting a range of fighting techniques and familiar dialogue within the acting to that of such a theme.

Originally this film was a long four hour epic, which was cut down for cinematic purposes into to films, the latter released as a sequel in 2004. In some respects, this goes to show the already unconventional approach to film making that Kill Bill pursues, with Quentin Tarantino really pushing the boundaries of what some may find visually acceptable. The use of camera work, breaking into the forth wall and cutting away into stylised animations shows this farther - we live in a postmodern world. The media is good at selling ideas into peoples minds, ideas which stick to us and make us the people we are. It is these very things which in the editing room can acknowledge what makes a film work compared to what doesn't. The exploration of breaking this boundary however creates a nauseating film for some, for others visual genius.

The film works with a narrative which is taken, smashed and re ordered to make this story still make sense to the audience. I found I missed a few points originally, especially becoming confused when Um Thurman gets into a yellow car and drives from the hospital. For a while I thought "wow that cars been there a long time, I'm surprised its battery is still working." I had failed to observe that this Car was in fact the property of a Doctor who "the bride" kills. Due to the way the film is structured it is easy to misinterpret some of the scenes and be confused.

The film starts with Uma Thurman being "killed", which we later find out sends her into a deep coma for four years. We then skip four years back into the future, where the bride engages into a violent fight with an ex co-worker named Vernita. Once the bride manages to assassinate Vernita we come to find she is one of a few select people to be killed on a hit list. We then see her look at who she wants to kill next, which takes us back in time again to determine the cause. The next in line is a lady named O'Ren Ishii, a Japanese-American. In going back four years we see how Ishii helps beat up the bride at her wedding. This is what sends her into a coma, when the Police find her body during their murder investigation she is immediately placed into hospital. She is abused at the hospital while unconscious, even with one of the villain's henchmen attempting to assassinate her. The film continues with the bride fighting her way out of the hospital, travelling to Japan where she is trained by an old swordsmith named Hattori Hanzo. He also makes her a sword to help her on her quest to kill Ishii. In turn she engages in an epic battle between Ishii's guards and Ishii herself. The bride is the victor in this battle, which makes way for the second volume.

Overall, slightly hard to follow if you don't engage it with an open mind but leaves you with a feeling of awe and will definitely make you say "that was clever".

Mullholland drive

This film was made in 2001, and stars Naomi Watts, Laura Elena Harring and Justin Theroux. It is somewhat of a strange film, typical of David Lynch's repertoire. This film is no exception, with its story focused on using phsycological tricks to thrill the audience. This is regarded as one of Linches best projects and gives a perspective into how the intelligence of social analysis has become a big part of modern life since the turn of the millenia.

Mulholland Drive Poster

This film invokes a feeling of hazzy understanding into its plot, yet makes the audience feel a sense of fulfillment after viewing. It is based around a crash, of which a supposed victim went missing without a trace. It indulges into strange twists in the plot, enviroments causing a questionable confusion to the viewing audience, characters popping up in random situations and locations.
I found a good quote from a philosopher named John Searle which helps explain this films impact:

"The thesis that there is a reality independent of our representations identifies not how things are in fact, but rather identifies a space of possibilities... External realism articulates a space of possibilities for a very large number of statements."

After a car accident in Los Angeles, California, Rita is the only survivor, however suffers mass amnesia. She meets with the character Betty Elms, of which her story merges into. Betty is a young actress in search of Stardom yet takes a samarital interest into Rita to help her understand the mystery surrounding her. Unknown the reasons as to why Rita came to be in this situation, they pursue to gain knowledge about the conspiracy around Ritas attempted murder. Betty and Rita soon come to realise nothing is what it seems.

This film has a complex storyline to indulge in, its definitely worth checking out to gain a better understanding or a personal interpritation. Definintely interesting to watch and whether you get anything from it or not will help show Lynches success at playing mind games with his audience.


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