Movie Greats: A Critical Study of Classic Cinema

By Philip Gillett | Go to book overview

16
Kill Bill: Volume 1 (US, 2003):
Violence as Art

Production companies: A Band Apart/Miramax Films

Producer: Lawrence Bender

Director/Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino

Photography: Robert Richardson

Production design: Yohei Taneda, David Wasco

Art Director: David Bradford

Editor: Sally Menke

Cast: Uma Thurman (the Bride), Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii), Vivica A. Fox (Vernita
Green), Daryl Hannah (Elle Driver)


Synopsis

In a preface, Bill shoots the injured and pregnant Bride. Only his hands are seen. The Bride is next encountered visiting Vernita in American suburbia. The two women fight with anything which comes to hand, the Bride eventually killing her adversary with a knife. She crosses Vernita's name off the list of Deadly Viper Assassination Squad members who are to be killed in reprisal for what happened to her. In another flashback, the injured Bride is seen lying in an El Paso chapel, being examined by a policeman who treats her as though she is already dead.

A stylish woman walks into a hospital. This is Elle Driver. She changes into a nurse's uniform and finds the Bride unconscious and alone. As Elle is about to administer a lethal injection, Bill telephones to order that the mission be aborted. Honour demands that the Bride should not be killed in her sleep.

Four years later, the Bride awakens after a mosquito bite. She goes in search of O-Ren Ishii, the next name on the list. An animé sequence reveals O-Ren's life story. As a child, she witnessed the murder of her parents. Her revenge was to kill the paedophile boss of the gang who murdered them. By the age of twenty, she was a top assassin.

O-Ren has taken control of Japanese criminal gangs, decapitating the only gangland boss who opposes her. The Bride commissions a sword from a retired craftsman in Okinawa and stages a showdown at a busy club. She disposes of O-Ren's

-143-

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