If you know me personally, you know that while I’m a huge fan of movies I still have a lot of homework to catch up with other cinephiles.
When it comes to writer/director Quentin Tarantino I have seen the following films:
Kill Bill Vol. 1/2
The Hateful Eight
Having seen these films I do not consider myself quite a Quentin Tarantino fan. I adored Pulp Fiction, but found Kill Bill exhausting, and a deep lack of narrative focus in Basterds, Django, and Hateful Eight.
I still consider the final three great films that are epic in scope, acted wonderfully, and written exquisitely. It has always been clear to me that Tarantino has at the height of artistry in his writing versus his directing.
Well, for the first time I just finished Reservoir Dogs and have never felt that opinion more strongly. Reservoir Dogs may in fact be my new favorite Tarantino film simply because it is so focused.
It has a unique structure, the exposition feels organic, and the characters feel both real and surreal simultaneously.
It’s no wonder that this film spawned a string of successful films from Quentin Tarantino. This was never a case of right place/right time for him. He is an artist, and he has perfected his craft.
What stood out to me most, a part from the writing, was the editing. The lack of score was a tremendous to help ground the reality. We are shown action sparingly and it feels all the more raw when we are shown it.
There are several longs takes, the camera only cutting with an intense change of mood or discovery. At its heart Reservoir Dogs is a mystery film and Tarantino picked an unconventional way to reveal each of his clues. This is done so well and so precisely.
The best part about Reservoir Dogs is that it’s focused. My criticism for the 3 aforementioned films was not only regarding their length, but their lack of focus. It’s apparent that Tarantino shifted his craft into making more epics vs. simple stories.
Reservoir Dogs is a simple story told in an unconventional way. It keeps you guessing and surprises you often. I enjoyed it a lot.