Directed by Stanley Kubrick and released in 1956, The Killing has resonated through the years as an influential and groundbreaking story of a botched bank robbery told through the eyes of each different characters point of view. The scenes are strategically organized out of order and lead the story through a maze of plot advancements. Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs opened in October 1992 and draws many influences and themes from Kubrick’s film. The unorthodox arrangement of scenes accompanied by meticulously crafted development of character side stories can be seen in both features. Furthermore, these films subject matter both have to do with a planned heist gone awry resulting in the deaths of all but one character that is later apprehended by the authorities. The underlying themes also mirror one another quite seamlessly especially when it comes to trust and character conduct.
Each film does a fine job at gripping the audience in suspense until the final cut scene. In both films, there is the initial robbery plan that is presented to a small group of mostly thugs who don’t ask too many questions and would probably turn on one another in the blink of an eye. It becomes apparent quite soon into the opening of each film that something has gone or will go wrong at some point at the hands of a mole within the operation. Accidents, such as Reservoir Dogs failed robbery attempt itself, happen within both plots to make the stories move forward at a jarring rate. Each of the film’s directors were able to take away any and all comprehension of time outside of the movie experience and replace it with edge of your seat, non-linear plot installations. Above all, the distinct and groundbreaking writing from both films is what creates the sense of hyperrealism seen within both features. The language and direction used in Tarantino’s movie pays homage to early film noir classics as well as films such as Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and even The Killing itself.
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