In 1994, Quentin Tarantino released a low-budget action pic, entitled Pulp Fiction. His second feature after Reservoir Dogs, this was the film that solidified Tarantino as the newest face of independent cinema. The most interesting part about it though, was besides including some of the best dialogue in a movie ever, as well as John Travolta’s career revitalizing role, the story is also told out-of-order. The movie is rather a series of connected vignettes as opposed to a linear story.
Until about two weeks ago, I never really questioned what the film would be like had it been made in chronological order. Then, such a version popped up on the internet, and I watched it and the original back to back. Now, I’ve been a fan of Pulp Fiction since I was 8 years old (my father supported my love of film, don’t judge me), and it’s one of my top 5 movies of all time, there’s no question about it. With that being said, I watched the chronological version with a somewhat skeptical, but still open mindset.
Now, I’ll probably get quite a bit of hate for saying this, but I loved the chronological version. Trust me, there’s a lot wrong with it in comparison, especially the detraction of suspense from Butch’s story, but a lot is gained too. Vince’s death comes as more of a surprise, as does the rape of Marcellus Wallace. To be honest, and I’m just being a conspiracy theorist here, I feel like in some weird way, Tarantino meant for the film to be seen chronologically, and then just flipped around to see how it would look.
If you think of the film from a linear perspective, it does make sense. “The Gold Watch”, Butch’s story, is the most climactic and revealing (literally). It also happens to be the last story chronologically, with the end being Butch driving off with his girlfriend on Zed’s chopper. Now tell me that’s not almost a better ending than Vince and Jules walking out of the diner in bathing suits and t-shirts.
Honestly, I’ll love the movie either way, but Pulp Fiction can be watched in both ways and to me, it’ll still have the same effect. Now, I know this is most definitely not the case for everyone. In fact, most people would just rather watch it the original way and not ever veer off into seemingly unknown territory.
But, if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill, check it out. You might not be as disappointed as you think.
Update: Ok, so the full video has been removed, but there are shorter ones available if you want to get an idea…