Sunday, 30 September 2012

Film Review: Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)

Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) is a rather entertaining film. Although it is highly cheesy in its cinematography and soundtrack, it absorbs the audience in its plot.

Fig. 1: Kill Bill Vol. 1 Poster
 The film begins with actress Uma Thurman in a hightened state of distress. There is no music in the background which intensifies the scene. It is also in monochrome. This is used to depict the past and show a darker or duller time in the life of the protagonist, Black Mamba (Uma Thurman). As reviewer Kelvin Matthews states,"Tarantino also does a beautiful job of using black and white film in order to depict time and the memories of Black Mamba. This tactic not only helps to organize a film that is shot out of sequence, but also adds reality to the scenes and helps the audience to understand why the bride has come to be the person she is, as black and white scenes also show The Bride in happier times and a demeanor much different then the revenging heroine we now see on screen." Matthews, Kelvin. (2012)

Fig. 2

The theme of this film is a tad dark, with the attempted murder of a pregnant bride and the killing of a villain in front of her daughter.
As exaggerated and unbelievably theatrical the action is, the film is still believable. It all seems to be a live action representation of a manga novel.
There are great plays on stereotypical characters such as a deadly assassin who is also a school girl.
The audience is kept at the edge of their seat due to the fast pace of this film.
The audience doesn't really know what is going on until later on in the film. All that is made clear is that the protagonist is wronged by a group of five deadly assassins and she sets out to exterminate each and every one of them.
Fig 3.

It does have highly used underlying concepts such as 'determination is the key to success' and 'revenge is a dish best served cold', which incidentally, happens to be an ancient Klingon proverb.
As reviewer Peter Bradshaw states, "It's a story of revenge: the traditional perfunctory pretext for martial arts - a unidimensional narrative motivation." Bradshaw, Peter. (2003).

This film has special effects that do not intend to trick the audience into believing that they are not special effects. They somehow do their job without having the audience yelling out in protest.
Kill Bill Vol.1 (2003) is a film that is edited to perfection. There isn't a moment where one thinks that a particular scene is unnecessary. As reviewer Rebecca Murray rightly states, ".. there weren’t any extraneous scenes that could have been cut out or even shortened." Murray, Rebecca. (c. Unknown).

Illustration List:

Fig 1: Tarantino, Quentin. (2003). Kill Bill Vol. 1. Available online at:
Accessed 1st October 2012

Fig. 2: Tarantino, Quentin. (2003). Kill Bill Vol. 1. Available online at:
Accessed 1st October 2012

Fig. 3: Tarantino, Quentin. (2003). Kill Bill Vol. 1. Available online at: Accessed 1st October 2012


Murray, Rebecca. (c. Unknown). Hollywood Movies. Kill Bill Vol. 1 Film Review. Available online at: Accessed 1st October 2012

Matthews, Kelvin. (2012).SBCC Film Reviews. Kill Bill: Vol.1 (Quentin Tarantino): USA.
Available online at: Accessed 1st October 2012

Bradshaw, Peter. (2003). The Guardian Film Review. Kill Bill: Volume 1.  Available online at: Accessed 1st October 2012

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