Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are two hit men who are out to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Wallace has also asked Vincent to take his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) out a few days later when Wallace himself will be out of town. Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) is an aging boxer who is paid by Wallace to lose his fight. The lives of these seemingly unrelated people are woven together comprising of a series of funny, bizarre and uncalled-for incidents.

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It kind of feels redundant trying to write a review for Pulp Fiction as it approaches its 20th birthday. As a film it needs no introduction, it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, won a BAFTA and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino), and garnered a whole host of other awards and nominations. Box office beef was meaty and its reputation even now shows no sign of waning (it currently sits at number 4 on the IMDb top 100 list), it is by definition one cool MOFO of a movie, a picture loved by a cross section of demographics. But why? Pulp Fiction oozes humour, romance, violence and stylish flourishes. It remains compulsive viewing throughout; even as it threatens to get submerged in its own complex structure. Film lover Tarantino takes a number of low life and unfortunate characters from Los Angeles, mainlines then with movie clichés, and then amazingly breathes new life into them. It knowingly winks at B movies from the past yet always remains fresh on its own terms. I myself having just revisited the film after a 5 year gap can attest to just how well it holds up, laughing at the dialogue, perched on the edge of the seat as violence starts to rumble, and yes, singing along with that most catchy of soundtracks. Yet for all its flashiness and hipster chattering, there's one thing that often gets overlooked when talk of Pulp Fiction's greatness arises. That of a basic human urge to survive or find salvation, Tarantino's main characters may be bottom feeders or scummy operatives of the underworld, but there's love and needing beating slowly in its dark heart before the drugs and violence take a hold. Neat trick that from Tarantino, brilliant in fact. 10/10

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