Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Is That What You'd Call an Uncomfortable Silence?": Pulp Fiction Analysis Part IX

 Vincent and Mia share an uncomfortable silence.

Vincent and Mia enter the house happy, smiling and dancing a tango. Then they have a real uncomfortable silence after they embrace for a moment. The tension is broken by Mia:

MIA: Drinks, music.
VINCENT: I’m gonna take a piss.

Mia dances around the living room, singing along to Urge Overkill’s cover of Neil Diamond’s “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon.” Meanwhile, Vincent stands in the bathroom, self-reflecting in front of the mirror. It is now clear he is attracted to Mia, but recognizes the danger he faces if he sticks around too long.

VINCENT: One drink and that’s it. Don’t be rude. Drink your drink, but do it quickly. Say ‘goodnight’ and go home. [cut to Mia, then back to Vincent] You see, this is a moral test of one’s self whether or not you can maintain loyalty because being loyal is very important. [cut to Mia again, then back to Vincent] So, you’re gonna go out there and you’re gonna say, ‘Goodnight, I’ve had a very lovely evening,’ walk out the door, get in the car, go home, jerk off and that’s all you gonna do.

Vincent debating with himself as he looks in the mirror.

This sequence would have the audience believe Vincent is going to go out there and have some kind of affair with Mia and the film will then be about some kind of conflict involving Marsellus. But Tarantino keeps his audience on its toes. While Vincent is in the bathroom, Mia finds his baggie of heroin. Because it is in a baggie and not a balloon, she mistakes it for cocaine, snorts it and has a severe overdose, thus taking the film in a totally new direction.

Mia finds a baggie of heroin which she mistakes for cocaine.

The shot of blood coming from Mia’s nose fades to black before fading back in on Mia (indicating the passage of time) now on the floor with vomit and blood all over her face. Vincent comes out of the bathroom to find Mia on the brink of death and picks her up to carry her out.

Mia's overdose begins with a bloody nose, but will not end the same way.

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