Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Kill Bill: Vol. 1; Action, USA, 2003; D: Quentin Tarantino, S: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Sonny Chiba, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Julie Dreyfus, Chia Hui Liu, Chiaki Kuriyama

The Bride gets shot on her wedding from her former boss, gangster Bill, and his henchmen, lands in a coma for a few years but wakes up and starts her revenge. She first kills Vernita, Bill's assistant and now a mother of a little daughter, and then continues to fly to Tokyo. There she gets a Samurai sword and enters the cottage of the evil O-Ren Ishii, another Bill associate, and kills her together with her mafia henchmen.

"Kill Bill: Vol. 1" unfolds the best during it's first half an hour while it's sensed that discipline rules over it because it's later parts fall into chaos. Truly, in it's first third, it really seems the film is excellent: in the flawless exposition the thing that fascinates the most is the avant-garde style that not even Godard would be ashamed off, since in the opening credits it states: "The 4th film by Quentin Tarantino" and especially amusing is the sequence where the Bride (excellent Uma Thurman, nominated here for a BAFTA and a Golden Globe) storms in into the idyllic family home of her bedazzled former enemy Vernita and starts a fight with her with knifes, but both stop when her little daughter enters the house. At the same time, the Bride tells her name, but it gets "censored" by a peeping sound in order to reveal it only in the second film. When Bride kills Vernita, she tells her daughter in the best tradition of hard boiled dialogues: "Believe me, your mother had it coming", while Daryl Hannah is fantastic. Unfortunately, once the story starts unraveling after that, it seems as if it was directed by someone else: Tarantino placed violence is his previous films with measure and seriousness, and it's hard to figure out why he suddenly switched for a splatter approach: in the brutal animated segment Ishii blows up the legs of the Yakuza with her gun, while in the live action segment she humorously takes the sword and cuts off the head of a man from whose body a fountain of blood "humorously" erupts. Sadly, those dubious decisions and homages led it to trash, not art, and that's something Godard would be ashamed off. As if Tarantino started writing his screenplay with fantastic inspiration, but then abandoned it for the sake of gore and cheap action. If at least he kept those high ambitions from the start, and not infantile touch, this would have been a much, much better film.


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