I must confess I wasn't too keen on watching this movie, though it being mentioned in every dissertation of cinema with my friends. Reason being that I didn't particularly like Reservoir Dogs- Tarantino's first movie. I found it bloated. But my wide speculation was buried easily.
Pulp Fiction is neither plot-driven nor character-driven, with which it, without conforming
to such premises, gives a different cinematic savior. There are numerous scenes which evidently don't mean anything in the movie; like when two witty gangsters are discussing what a Burger is called in different countries. The sly humor is a piece of brilliance- justifying the accolades Tarantino received for the movie. Critics have pointed that Tarantino has been too self-indulgent; too within himself while making this movie. I agree! At times you feel why some scenes have been shot at all. Remember the pumpkin conversation. But it remains a fact, without such goofy lines, Pulp Fiction will cease to remain what it is. There is one notable conversation that immediately comes to my mind. This is when Bruce Willis is pleading his stupid European girl friend to hop onto his bike- ' who's bike is this?'. His girl friend asks him. 'This is Zed's bike'. 'Who is Zed?'. 'Zed is dead; Zed is dead baby.' Such snappy dialogues and gallows humor sums up the total chaos of Pulp Fiction.
As far as performances are concerned, Samuel L Jackson, as Jules, was magnetic. Bruce Willis makes an impact too, which justifies his eagerness to land with a role- as miniscule it may have been. I found Uma Thurman perfect in the role of insane Mia, as was John Travolta.
Pulp Fiction has many varied hypothesis around its story. However, none matches the inquisitiveness of what holds in the black suitcase. One of the most widely believed rationale proclaims that it contains Marsellus's soul. There're clues throughout the movie to back this. The band-aid on Marsellus's nape being one such. According to Bible it is the nape of the neck from where the devil extracts one's soul. Travolta and Jackson start as disciples of God, to recover his [ Marsellus] soul from the devil.
Tarantino dismissed such speculations, and explained that it is left on the imagination of the viewer. As Kiarostami- Iran's award winning director remarked a few years ago, that he was in favor of a “half-created cinema, an unfinished cinema that attains completion through the creative spirit of the audience ...” In other words, one is called on to make a mental effort.