Something are so ordinary on surface but if you look closely you can see different things into it. So different that you start wondering if even the creator of that thing intended to put them into his creation. Quentin Tarantino is one such person who keeps coming up completely avant-garde movies. He has that non linear way of telling stories. Every character seems to have a story of his own, presence of his own and each scene can be spawned into a different movie some time. At the cost of sounding silly I will speak my mind out. All his characters have this “old-school” way of doing things. Despite being an action movie his charcter dont simply jump into the scene and kill but follow a procedure, some kind of code. I find it intoxicating.
Kill Bill happens to be a revenge drama. It’s main protagonist is a lady nicknamed Black Mamba, real name Beatrix Kiddo played but awesome Uma Therman. Now if it is about revenge easily she could have been wielding things right from Ak 47 to Sniper Rifles. But she happens to use a Katana sword and she is damn good at it. Why would a 21st century hired killer prefer a Katana? That remains unexplained. However, as I said before everything seems to have placed with a story of it’s own however without any significant bearing on the main story. The katana she uses is made by a Japanese sword maker Hattori Sanzo. This man is not ordinary sword maker his swords are priceless and can cut through metal. One sword is owned by Bill, one he gifts to his little brother Bob which the bob lies to have sold for $250 after a spate with Bill. It is not clear as to why Bob is not in good terms with Bill but clearly they love each other. Eventually Beatrix Kiddo obtains another sword from Hattori Sanzo who had sworn on his life that he will not make any swords. After making a katana for Kiddo he commits Harakiri (A special kid of suicide).
While move progresses in chapters just like a book. Each chapter has a title. Until you see all those chapters the story is not at all clear. In fact we know nothing about Bill in volume 1. We get to see him mainly in Volume 2. Similarly the reason why Kiddo was in hospital, why is she seeking revenge etc. gets clear only in volume 2.
The genius of this movie in my opinion is that despite being a revenge drama, despite being fully action packed it has got an element that leave a lot of scope for your own imagination to be put in. Just like my other favorite Star Wars it is not so much about what is happening on the screen but more about the things that are happening inside your mind, and your interpretation of the story. On a longer term Star Wars was not SciFi but it was about a Son redeeming his father Or was it? We could also interpret it as a lot man getting back on path, or victory of good over evil or just as a long saga whose length itself tells many stories. Underneath all the complexities it is about human emotions and and their interplay. All these complexities of subtle human emotions start seeping into your mind without you noticing it. I guess as a film maker the key to do this is by giving each character significant amount of style and screen time. That is why you start liking even fringe characters like Pai Mei, Bob, Hattori Sanzo etc.
Watching kill bill is equivalent of traveling by train. When you are traveling by train you know you destination, but before you reach there you come across so many stations and you wonder about them. Whats the story of these stations ? What lies beyond this station and how is the life of these people ? You dont have the time to get down and check out but an imaginative mind will always wonder.
Kill Bill is the typical guy movie despite the fact that the protagonist is a women and purely driven by feelings of a mother for her child something that men are incapable of doing. She is a killer who is trying to leave all that and get married to some ordinary Joe. See how Bill points out the pointlessness of her decision:
Moving to El Paso... ...working in a used record store... ...goin' to the movies with Tommy... ...clipping coupons. That's you... ...trying to disguise yourself as a worker bee. That's you tryin' to blend in with the hive. But you're not a worker bee. You're a renegade killer bee. And no matter how much beer you drank or barbecue you ate or how fat your ass got, nothing in the world would ever change that.
Imagine any other movie and Bill would have asked her in one simple sentence “Why did you ran away ? ” But things never happen that way in Kill Bill. Everything happens slowly with carefully chosen choice of words, analogies and calmness.
Despite loving each other Bill tries of kill Beatrix and despite acknowledging she does love him Beatrix kills Bill. Bill is a stud fighter. One could expect some great sword fight in that end but nothing like that happens what you have is a surprise. Something that connects another chapter where Beatrix received her training under Pai Mei.
I am a big time fan of western movies that show the texas terrain in them and also fan of Japanese Samurais and Ninjas. Kill Bill seem to mix best of both the worlds. That cowboy cold attitude and thirst for blood with japanese philosophical depth and art of doing everything with a pre determined code of conduct.
After all it is a movie. For most of the people movie is something you see in a multiplex burning money, forgetting your own miserable life of a week on a weekend. I always see more into em. Because I am an old school guy, I do it the old way.