Dan Gertler Reviews: Kill Bill: Vol. 1

By now my followers know that I am a Tarantino fan. For those who don’t I dedicate this review on one of Tarantino’s greatest works of art: Kill Bill: Vol. 1. The movie is first of all a tribute to the long standing tradition of martial arts, with its fatal elegancy and hint of lost authenticity of the Far East.

 Revenge is an old story come to life in the character of The Bride (Uma Thurman), who suddenly wakes up after being in a coma for the past four years, not knowing what happened to her unborn child whom she was carrying on the day she was attacked. Bill, (David Carradine), tried to assassinate the bride on her wedding day with the help of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, which she used to be a part of. When she wakes, the bride seeks vengeance and goes on a killing spree that begins with the members of the squad and ends with Bill on the third and final movie.

Characteristically of Tarantino’s movies, underlying the story there is a strong sense of meaning that seems to evade the viewer. The scenes are so dramatic and the script so precise and parsimonious that we find ourselves fully emerged in the film, only half conscious of what we are experiencing. Which brings me to the cinematography.

It’s not just bold lighting and contrasts, or the oceans of blood spilled, or the emphasis of Uma Thurman’s sharp facial characteristics, or the drama of the fighting scenes. It’s the audacity to dress the main character all in yellow and to give the Deadly Viper an eye patch. Not to mention the breath-taking garden scene, where O-Ren Ishii and the bride have their final battle. The scene paces calmly as the garment of O-Ren’s kimono and the two women’s swords swish through the night air, while gentle snowflakes fall all around them.

There aren’t many who manage to elevate the world of film to the level of art, but occasionally we come across one director, one artefact, that captures the essence of film and puts forth a beautiful and elegant film such as this. Highly recommended.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dave Westwood says:

    I enjoyed the article, but I think it was a little short for the length and depth of Kill Bill. Tarintino did a fantastic job with this movie and the sequel!


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