Reel Rundown: Reservoir Dogs

Reel Rundown: Reservoir Dogs

Elise Flor, Student Columnist

Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut gave audiences their first chance to fall in love with the unique comedy-action genre pioneered by Tarantino and his crew. I wish that I could accurately explain the depth of the characters that Tarantino creates within the course of one breakfast scene.

The film opens with the group of criminals and the two men that hired them having breakfast and having a conversation about the meanings of songs they had heard on the radio. Within the short few minutes of their breakfast conversation, the audience learns the senses of humor, political ideologies and their moral compasses. 

The main conflict of the film is a diamond heist that goes wrong and the police sting operation that goes with it.

The hired criminals only know each other by the color coded pseudonyms assigned to them by their boss Joe (Lawrence Tierney). The group centers around four main members of the team, Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi), Mr. White (Harvey Keitel), Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth).

These four actors bring their characters to life on screen and truly show their range as actors who are able to tackle comedic and dramatic work, which is often interchanged and can turn on a dime.

Mr. White and Mr. Pink are the ones who push the exposition and storytelling aspects of this character driven plot, whereas Mr. Orange (who was shot in the gut) and Mr. Blonde (he’s kinda psycho) push the conflict and provides tension. 

The film alternates between present day conflicts with Mr. Orange and Mr. Blonde and flashbacks of how they all got to where they are now. This sort of nonlinear storytelling was made very popular in this era of filmmaking and was led by writers and directors like Tarantino.

A few words of caution that go along with this movie however are warnings of heavy violence and use of profanity, both are defining characteristics that follow Tarantino’s filmmaking.

Though Reservoir Dogs is not for the faint of heart, it is definitely one of the most watchable films that I have seen. With a runtime of just over 90 minutes, it’s good for casual watching, hardcore cinefiles and anywhere in between those.