This film veers away from the Hollywood norm in several ways, first with the dark, fast-paced cinematography, second with graphic use of violence and language in the story telling (McCarthy). The film explores the darkest reaches of human nature and how one radical event can change all facets of the relationship between men.
In the first scene of the film, all of the participants in the heist are seated amicably around the Formica table of a small diner having a discussion about the meaning behind Madonna's "Like a Virgin". The film quickly segways from that to Mr. Orange and Mr. White driving to the team's appointed meeting place, an abandoned warehouse. It's now after the botched robbery and Mr. Orange is shot in the stomach, dying (Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs: Final Script). The warehouse gives the film a dark isolated, almost claustrophobic feeling, despite its large size and vacant interior (McCarthy). The claustrophobia of the place lends more to the mounting paranoia between the characters. The paranoia concerns who in the core group to trust and who not to trust in the search for the person who ratted the thieves out to the LAPD. The solitude of the warehouse, its isolation from the world outside isn't broken until the final shootout, when everyone is dead except Mr. White and Mr. Orange and the police finally arrive. The world inside the warehouse has its own rules, the consequences of breaking the laws of the outside world nothing more than passing thoughts. Here, there is no real fear of the actions taking place inside incurring the attention of the police until the very last moments of the film. Team members are shot, a policeman is tortured, and various loud arguments take place with seemingly no regard from the outside world. Throughout the film the audience is aware of the nearby police reinforcements ready to storm the warehouse when their target arrives. Even though you're aware that they're out there watching, when the characters are inside the warehouse, eliminating each other, the police still feel very far away.
The relationships between the characters are very interesting without being overbearingly complex. Mr. Pink is the catalyst for the continuation of the action. He's nervous, paranoid, and very focused on remaining "professional" throughout the entire ordeal (Huntley). He is the first to arrive at the warehouse after Mr. White and the mortally wounded Mr. Orange and brings with him the idea of a rat among the group of thieves. His paranoia spreads to the rest of the group as the remaining members slowly filter in following the botched heist. In addition to infusing the group with his paranoia, he also serves to diffuse several potentially violent situations, specifically between Mr. White and Mr. Blonde who both prefer to solve their issues with their guns (Huntley). The opposing sides of his character bring an increasing amount of tension to the film as Mr. Pink interacts with the other characters.
Mr. Blonde is somewhat of an enigma. Throughout the film's progression he is characterized as a psychopath by Mr. Pink and Mr. White. He demonstrates these tendencies as he kidnaps a police officer and then tortures him needlessly. The torture of the officer is one of the most brutal scenes in the film and it is also one of the elements that set this film
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