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Sunday, September 9, 2012

That character in Pulp Fiction you never see.




Ezekiel the Almighty. Jules summons him by reciting Ezekiel 25:17. He makes his first appearance when he lets the bullets go through them without actually piercing through them. Jules acknowledges his existence, takes him seriously and decides to change his ways. Vincent calls it luck and discounts the deed. Ezekiel is offended.

Jules and Vincent discuss the incident in the car. Vincent condescendingly asks Marvin "Do you think god came down from heaven and stopped these bullets?" Ezekiel reacts impulsively by making him blow Marvin's head off. Vincent suggests that Jules probably drove over a bump. Or was that Ezekiel? However, Jules says “Hey, the car didn’t hit no motherfuckin bump.” Well, that leaves us with just one conclusion. Ezekiel squeezed the trigger.


After putting Vincent through the trouble of setting that situation straight, Ezekiel reminds Vincent that he’s not done with him yet by dragging him into a Mexican stand-off, right after he’s out of the bathroom. Jules recites Ezekiel 25:17 again. And so, there are no accidents here. Things turn out all right. So much has been going wrong and the calls are close but Vincent continues to look away.

Vincent has spent a great evening with his boss’s wife, Mia Wallace. He retreats to the men’s room to relieve himself and clear up some conflict. Ezekiel strikes. Mia Wallace overdoses on heroin. But Ezekiel finds forgiveness and lets Mia survive, giving Vincent his last chance. But Vincent remains thankless, ignoring these miracles and continuing with his life like Ezekiel didn’t exist. Ezekiel has had enough. He makes his final move when he decides to let the toaster prompt Butch to shoot at Vincent, when he’s just out of the bathroom and the two men are bewilderingly staring at one another. You might argue that Butch was going to kill him anyway but Butch did risk his life to save Marsellus Wallace's ass from being raped. He has humane qualities unlike Ezekiel, who is clearly a brutal egotist. What better way to punish Vincent than to shock him in the worst ways just after he’s finished relieving himself?

Of course, this divine intervention is part of the dark comedy. But does Tarantino have something to say through all of this? Something along the lines of, do not throw away miraculous experiences? Be thankful and learn from them? In all probability, he does. Because Jules is the one who survives. 

13 comments:

  1. Wow. Fantastic view on Pulp Fiction.

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  2. You got all that from... actually.... NOTHING?? You really do dissect movies dont you...Great read.

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  3. Wow dont have the patience to reply again on something i already posted but the comment didnt appear. Let me say its commendable. I wanted to know if it had been observed before, probably ask Ebery and Taarantino online on this like you made the former correct himself on the 25th hour.
    I hated the fact that Travolta died and Jackson did not. Infact it upset me since normal cinematic formula would have meant Jackson's scene stealer going out with a bang. But Tarantino plays with the viewers mindset. With this one analysis you have justified Travolta's death to me which made the whole movie more satisfying. The fact that Tarantino sees a hidden force which one needs to listen and if one fails to do, then they get punished. I think there are shades of this in his other works. But needs to reviewed for me to explain this fully.

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    Replies
    1. Haha, yeah. I should do that. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    2. http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2012/09/toronto_4_and_the_winner_is.html#comment-5340977

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  4. Wow, I liked that take on the whole "recognition of miracles" thing. If true, it makes the character of Vincent that much more tragic. Nice read - thank you from Seattle, USA

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  5. Bacon tastes gooood, pork chops taste gooood.

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  6. I don't wanna say something cocky for fear of Ezekiel. Good job..!

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