Throughout the summer, we feature a movie that someone on our staff has picked as one of their favorite Miramax films. While the blockbusters invade the theaters for another weekend, consider watching one of the staff picks instead. Today's pick Reservoir Dogs, is from our Development intern, Patrick Gallahue. Quentin Tarantino's debut set the stage for his next twenty years of filmmaking. It introduced us to his directing trademarks, his pop-culture love affair, his whip-smart badass dialogue and some of the best soundtracks in film. What's not to love about this cult classic heist flick?
Quentin Tarantino is one of the most respected filmmakers in our day and age, and it's not a strange thing based off his directorial debut - Reservoir Dogs. The film, which is as old as I am having been released in 1992, is cemented in the Tarantino legacy as one of his standout films despite the influx of award winning projects such as Pulp Fiction or Django Unchained. Still, Reservoir Dogs stands out as my favorite Miramax film for introducing me to the Tarantino style and the example of what a film can be even on a moderate budget.
Reservoir Dogs showcased a lot of what Tarantino would come to known for in his future films; multidimensional quirky characters, nonlinear storytelling and the now classic ultra violent Tarantino style. The character's established in Dogs is what has always drawn me in as Tarantino utilized the non-linear storytelling to showcase various characters such as Mr. White and Mr. Blonde in their own light, in contrast to how they have acted throughout the film. Mr. Blonde for instance, viewable antagonist in the film, in a flashback is shown to be nothing but a loyal worker, yet in the present he is shown to be more of a sadistic psychopath. Mr. White draws a different form of development; shown to be the professional of the group Mr. White ultimately warms up to a wounded compatriot and puts his life out on the line for him. Each character is unique and goes on to help to story become utterly captivating despite the lack of action present within.
While I can never shake my admiration for the character's and their individual arcs, the storytelling that would come to be a staple of Tarantino's style is what truly makes Reservoir Dogs shine. Instead of featuring the action oriented bank heist that the group attempted to pull off, the director skips over the scene. Instead, Tarantino focused on what happens after the heist as a result of the character's actions and then utilizes the nonlinear storytelling to help put the entire picture and background into focus for the viewers. Watching as the characters have to slowly piece together what actually transpired, who's a rat to the police and how to handle the botched robbery, provides an entertaining dynamic between the characters that reels viewers in.
One of my favorite scenes in the film is the opening breakfast scene between all of the characters, the only time all of the characters are seen with one another. What draws me to the scene is how Tarantino establishes the characters as average everyday people, creating a significant contrast to how they act throughout the rest of the film. This is done through Tarantino's typical style of dialogue, in which the characters talk about something that at its base has nothing to do with the story, but if a viewer looks closer they learn a great deal about the characters from it.
Watch Reservoir Dogs on Amazon today.