Review on Reservoir Dogs (1992)
As the action progresses the film uses flash backs to show you the story that has led up to the final warehouse scene as Vincent Canby explains in a review on The New York Times. 'Though small in physical scope, "Reservoir Dogs" is immensely complicated in its structure, which for the most part works with breathtaking effect. Mr. Tarantino uses chapter headings ("Mr. Blonde," "Mr. Orange," etc.) to introduce the flashbacks, which burden the film with literary affectations it doesn't need. Yet the flashbacks themselves never have the effect of interrupting the flow of the action. Mr. Tarantino not only can write superb dialogue, but he also has a firm grasp of narrative construction. The audience learns the identity of the squealer about mid-way through, but the effect is to increase tension rather than diminish it.' (Canby, 1992) What Canby is saying is that although the film uses headings to introduce the characters seen in the flash backs, it could get away without using them and the audience would still understand whats going on.
The scene where the Police officer is tortured is lengthened as if to build tension and anticipation as mentioned by Almar Haflidason in a review on BBC. 'Many modern directors are too weak and feeble to explore suggested violence. Instead they employ effects-loaded frames of brutality to make their point. Tarantino exploits audience savvy, preferring to build anticipation, mesmerise, and then cut away at the climax, as in the infamous ear-severing scene. Somehow it's horribly effective and lingers far longer than the usual point blank bloodshed that seems compulsory in other movies.' (Haflidason, 2000) What Haflidason is saying is that unlike rushing through blood shed scenes like some films do leaving the audience no time to think about what is happening, this film slows it down so an emotional response is produced by the audience. The ear severing scene is set of camera so you can't see what is going on. This makes it effective and keeps you thinking about it due to you using your imagination to visualize the horrific scene. The film is set mostly in a small warehouse as mentioned by Todd McCarthy in a review on Variety. 'Tarantino's complex plot construction works very well, relieving the warehouse setting's claustrophobia and providing lively background on robbery planning, the undercover cop's successful preparations and the gang's crude male bonding.' (McCarthy, 1992) Being set in a small dirty and junk loaded warehouse adds to the gritty rough feel of the film. It would not have worked if it was set any where else.
List of Illustrations
Figure 1. Tarantino, Quentin (1992) Reservoir Dogs. [Film Poster] At: http://www.impawards.com/1992/reservoir_dogs_ver1.html (Accessed on: 14.02.11)
Figure 2. Tarantino, Quentin (1992) Standoff. [Screen Cap] At: http://www.threedonia.com/archives/33326 (Accessed on: 14.02.11)
Figure 3. Tarantino, Quentin (1992) Torture Scene. [Screen Cap] At: http://www.onlygoodmovies.com/blog/good-movies/coolest-movies-of-all-time/ (Accessed on: 14.02.11)
Canby, Vincent (1992) Reservoir Dogs (1992). http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9E0CE6DD113EF930A15753C1A964958260&partner=Rotten%20Tomatoes (Accessed on: 14.02.11)
Haflidason, Almar (2000) Reservoir Dogs (1992). http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2000/11/21/reservoir_dogs_1992_review.shtml (Accessed on: 14.02.11)
McCarthy, Todd (1992) Reservoir Dogs. http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117794411?refcatid=31 (Accessed on: 14.02.11)