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Reservoir Dogs: A Heist Movie Without The Heist Itself

When the written subject of a movie is “When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant,” you naturally expect to watch this “jewelry heist” operation with its planning and everything, right? Well, Reservoir Dogs gives you more than you can get from a simple heist movie even without the operation itself.


Reservoir Dogs, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino in 1992, was Tarantino’s directorial debut, and considering its success, the film has brought multiple new aspects to cinema of the time with its blood covered characters and anger-processed dialogues. The film lasts exactly ninety-nine minutes, but nevertheless, with all the chaos it doesn’t feel more than a blink of an eye.


When we look at the current filmography of Tarantino, we encounter with similar motifs. It is kind of a clue to his other films in terms of violence, mixed order of events, and detailed dialogues that make one say "what are they even talking about?"


The movie mostly takes place in a warehouse. When things go wrong at the bank, the remaining criminals somehow come together in the warehouse to find the “police informant”. One of the most interesting thing about these characters is that they do not know each other's names, but they use nicknames, such as “Mr. Orange” and “Mr. Pink”. The reason for this name game is to prevent them from getting attached and care about one another concerning humanly ethical values. Besides, the name element makes the characters even more sophisticated.


Almost all of the characters are male, we get to see only two women during the movie. Of course, at this point, the film does not pass the Bechdel test.(In order to pass the Bechdel test a film must feature two or more women and these women must have a scene where they talk to each other about something other than a man.) Casting certainly helped the film a lot, with Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, and Michael Madsen among the cast.


Quentin Tarantino and Steve Buscemi - Behind the Scenes


Let’s take a look at the making process of the film. It took 35 days to shoot and Tarantino wrote the first draft of the script in only three and a half weeks. The budget was not very high so the crew and the cast did their best to contribute to the budget; most of the actors even brought their own clothes. Tarantino considered shooting the movie in black and white to keep the budget even lower. In 1991, the short-length version of the film was shot with the help of the Sundance Film Institute as a proof-of-concept for the feature film. Therefore, besides the actual Reservoir Dogs (1992), there was also a 12-minute Reservoir Dogs movie, filmed in 1991.


Reservoir Dogs brings a whole new perspective to the audience. Even 21 years later, it still manages to be exceptional as an everlasting cult classic.

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