I had the pleasure of seeing Kill Bill Volume 1 tonight. Or at least, I think it was a pleasure. The movie was essentially stylized violence from the opening scene through the breaking point where Volume 1 leaves off for Volume 2. I did enjoy the movie’s fusion of east-west, including the anime segment that fill the backstory of one of the main characters. And the movie played heavily on the theme that violence begets violence, this story being at its most basic level about revenge. And don’t go expect any groundbreaking dialog, as the movie really has only a small amount, and of that amount, quite a bit was surprisingly in Japanese. In fact, this marks the second straight weekend that I’ve seen, in theatres, a major American movie set at least in part in Tokyo. There were the musical “sequences” that indicate a particular scenario, that you will eventually come to recognize as significant. And the juxtoposition of the score with the violence only served to heighten the reaction to the violence on screen. The cinematagraphy, too, was fantastic, with wonderful sequences tied together, and with the looks, expressions, and actions of the chararacters often conveying more than any spoken words.
The only thing about the movie was…the violence. It was extreme, not unexpectedly, this being a Quentin Tarantino movie. But it was taken to a whole new level, far beyond the Once Upon a Time in Mexico I saw just a few weeks back. It was violence pushed beyond the initial disgust through the ridiculous barrier and back in to the horror realm. Desensitized though we may seem to it, the violence will likely ellicit a reaction from just about everyone. It left me wondering if Tarantino is merely ambivalent about it, if not simply enjoying the hacked limbs and spurting blood, as he certainly lets the camera wander over it at times.
Definitely a good movie, but you’ll want to make sure you have a strong stomach before you see it.
In other news, my car is repaired and returned and sitting in my driveway. Who would have known the damage that had been done. Now I only hope NJM can get some renumeration out of the driver who rear-ended me.