Recommended Re-Viewing is a series in which we make the case for re-watching an old film or TV series which you can stream without leaving your house. It might be a plot that's so bad it's good, a scene which deserves more interrogation or a director's underrated gem.
Or perhaps it's the first half of Tarantino's revenge epic, 'Kill Bill', where digital style editor Murray Clark recognises the unique grief of a lost and severed friendship.
im电竞官网-You're enjoying a few drinks, a safe space with safe friends. This is gonna be a great night. You can feel it. Someone's even cancelled their Uber home. But all is not so well. For as you go to fulfil the silent oath of an unspoken round, you lock eyes with someone across room – eyes that are still too Medusan to gaze into. There's a sharp intake of breath, quickly followed by a rapid Vietnam flashback to finer times and an eventual fallout and long-forgotten fury. It boils over once more, your pint now a bitter cocktail of sadness and rage.
It's an incomparable feeling, and one almost buried in the blood-soaked kung-fu homage that is Kill Bill: Vol. 1. Understandable. Over the course of its 110 minute runtime, viewers are pummelled by intricate fight scenes, lost limbs and a body count to rival Rambo as Uma Thurman exacts her revenge against former colleagues. There's little room for nuance. Though despite scathing criticisms of Kill Bill as the signpost at which the director's quality control slipped, there is a blink-and-you'd-miss-it episode of true subtlety: the mournful loss of friendship between Thurman's 'The Bride' and Lucy Liu's Chinese-Japanese American Yakuza queen, O-Ren Ishii.
Because in the film's latter chapter – the now iconic 'Showdown at the House of Blue Leaves' – Thurman and Liu deftly navigate a solemn reunion. They weren't just workmates. They were actual mates; a phenomenon that only rarely occurs on the nine-to-five but is made all the more intense thanks to the contact hours involved.
All the signs are there. Unlike Daryl Hannah's Elle Driver (a rival Thurman relishes to kill) and Vivica A. Fox's Vernita Green (an adversary soon dispatched in the film's opening), we're given greater insight into the motives of O-Ren Ishii – a tragic tale narrated by The Bride herself. Generally speaking, assassins don't share twee stories of back home. Yet that's exactly what we hear during the personal retelling of Ishii's childhood. The Bride knows what makes her tick. She knows her. She even dedicates much of the first volume to her. She also speaks of real admiration of O-Ren's skill, labelling the mob boss one of the "top female assassins in the world". And like all former friends, the in-jokes still pepper the personal slights: "silly rabbit, tricks are for kids" is one of Kill Bill's most memorable exchanges as The Bride finishes O-Ren's sentence. Now that's true friendship, or so say the Pinterest mum memes.
The Yakuza oyabun's grisly end also parts with The Bride's modus operandi. She didn't "[have] it coming", like Vernita. Nor is she left maimed and blinded in the company of a deadly snake, like Elle. Liu utters an apology. The Bride tearfully accepts. In those tears, there's a familiar, bittersweet sting. For the act of falling out is sad. It's grief over a friendship irreparably damaged. It romanticises the good times. It inflames the bad. It's knowing the ins-and-outs of who that person is, why they're them, and why the embers of mutual respect still burn. It's an inconclusive brawl with no victory, a fight with no glory, a long, disquiet meeting of eyes across the busy No Man's Land of a bar on a Saturday night.
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