8 Problems With Pulp Fiction That Nobody Wants To Admit

1. The Non-Linear Narrative Is Ultimately Pointless

One of Pulp Fiction's defining features - if not its most defining feature - is its non-linear narrative - a flourish that Tarantino borrows from films of the French New Wave in order to make what are arguably three "generic" stories (at least, they are generic in the sense that they are hard-boiled fiction clich├ęs) more compelling than if audiences viewed them in chronological order.

But apart from rendering events in a way that makes just a few individual moments more "shocking" (the moment when Vincent is killed, for example, only to seemingly return to life in the next chapter; the moment where audiences realise that at the end of the movie they're in the same diner as they were in the beginning), the effect is ultimately inconsequential.

There is no "need" for the movie to be non-linear. It doesn't serve a purpose as it does in a film like Memento, where the technique is used to convey the frustration felt by its amnesia-clad protagonist. Ultimately, Tarantino makes his picture appear far more clever than it actually is in his use of a non-linear narrative; the problem is that it is not hard to implement such a device, and - all said and done - it has no true bearing on the story being told.

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Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.