Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill is a movie that is easy to love or hate. For viewers who watch the film simply for a "night-at-the-movie-theatre" type of experience, they would likely write it off as a total waste of time; they might say it was too cheesy with too much blood on top. Yet, viewers with some knowledge of film may perceive it as one of the most aesthetically captivating films that they have ever seen as a medium that masterfully blends violence and beauty. This brief paper will briefly discuss the aesthetic and technical aspect of both parts of the three hours long film with hopes of bringing a deeper sense of appreciation towards the film among readers who have already seen both of them; although, many of the scenes will not be covered due to the brevity of this paper.
By looking at a movie poster of Kill Bill, as is shown to the right, *deleted* there is an abundance of information that can be translated into what the film is about. The presence of a samurai sword and oriental letters behind it establishes the film as a martial arts type of film, which the sword is also an iconography of violence that dominates the film. The grip of a woman's hand upon its handle that is also holding a white handkerchief with "Kill Bill" scrawled upon it conveys the purpose of the film, which is a woman being on a quest to kill a man. The background is a blending of two tones of color that look like fire; the colors alone bring a sense of fierce, angry passion, which could mean that Bill is a former lover of the woman. The poster alone is as much of a hooker as the film is as it serves its purpose of telling what the film is about.
A quote appears at the beginning of the film, which is a Star Trek's Klingon Proverb that says, "Revenge is a dish best served cold." This proverb and the title encapsulates the plot of the entire film as it injects in the viewer a sense of passionate warmth full of hatred, yet a striking amount of merciless acts throughout the film brings a periodical sense of cold, almost sadistic feeling. Such scenes cause the viewers to either reel back in horror as a reaction to the sickening amount of violence and gore or sit back in awe about how Tarantino directed the use of violence in an unequivocally superb and beautifully expressed manner that appeals to our visual and emotional senses.
The opening scene shows Beatrix, dressed in a wedding gown and her face brutally bloodied, lying on the ground as she is about to be shot in the head by Bill, her former lover; the close-up shot and the long take that captures her painfully clinging on to life heightens the sense that gory violence is established as the enduring factor of the entire movie. Fast-forward to Chapter Six, which is actually a flashback to the time right before the opening scene, is entitled "Massacre at Two Pines" and is the first chapter of Volume 2. Soon-to-be mother Beatrix is dressed in a beautiful wedding dress and is seated besides her fiancé, his family and her friends. The ambience of light-hearted happiness that fills the atmosphere during the wedding rehearsal transcends through the screen and is felt among the audience. Closer to the end of the scene, after a long conversation between Beatrix and Bill outside of the chapel after not seeing each other for a long time, the close up shot of Beatrix emotionally longing for a kiss from the now established monster, Bill, who remains stoic and emotionless. Right at that point is one of the best examples of the blending of beauty with violence that Tarantino presents throughout the film. The camera then swoops into a long shot from within the chapel as it becomes a God's eye-shot outside of the chapel as Bill's deadly VIPERS, as his gang members were called, walks in and maims down the attendants of the rehearsal with machine guns. As with any of Tarantino's films, it brings one to say, "Can you top that?" He was able to capture the essence of innocent beauty and gayness of a wedding...
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