Sunday, April 03, 2011

A (Mostly) Satisfied Mind

So now I know: The Bride, at the end of the first volume of Kill Bill made good on her threat that she’d cut off another one of Sofie Fatale’s body parts.


Possibly because I imagined that rage inspires creativity, I guessed that when the Bride said she’d amputate something “that you will miss,” she was referring to Sofie’s breasts. She wasn’t. In the extended version of the scene in Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair, the Bride takes off Sofie’s remaining arm. Cue gushing. True, it had already been done, but it still sent a message.

However, rewatching Kill Bill for the first time in years, I realize I still have a few questions about the story. And they are these:
  1. B.B. is four years old. So is Vernita’s daughter, Nikki. What are the odds that both B.B. ands Nikki were both fathered by Bill? I mean, why wouldn’t Bill sleep with all the female Deadly Vipers? And wouldn’t the revelation of them being half-sisters make for a great plot twist for when Nikki and B.B. face off? That is, if Volume Three ever happens?
  2. That said, why is Vernita allowed to leave the group when Beatrix was not? Is it only because Bill loved Beatrix? This may actually be the case, given that Budd has clearly also left the group by the time Volume Two takes place.
  3. Is Elle supposed to be older than Beatrix? In real life, Daryl Hannah is about ten years older than Uma Thurman, and you can tell in the movie just by looking at the two actresses. (No offense intended, Ms. Hannah.) But upon considering the plot, it seems like Elle joined the squad after Beatrix. She’s clearly resentful for having played second fiddle to Beatrix for so long, and she trained with Pei Mei after Beatrix, which is how Elle was able to kill him without Beatrix knowing. Perhaps Elle was just older when Bill recruited her?
  4. Is Bill present when O-Ren’s parents get murdered? I’ve read this a few times, and I’d heard the animated part of Whole Bloody Affair clears this up with a few extra frames, but I still couldn’t tell. Supposedly, based on the the sword and the rings sported by the guy who kills Mr. and Mrs. O-Ren, you can argue that he’s actually Bill in his younger days. If that is Bill there, I wonder if O-Ren knew this.
  5. So the final cut of the movie lacked a chapter included in an early version of the script. In it, Gogo’s sister, Yuki, chases Beatrix around Los Angeles in an ice cream truck. You can hear and see the truck driving around Pasadena at the beginning and end of the first chapter. It’s a nice little nod to what could have been, I guess, but I wonder if Tarantino kept it because he filmed the Vernita scene without having decided whether to include this chapter as well.
  6. Seeing the movie this weekend, I realized that Aubrey Plaza is a Gogo Yubari who channeled her malevolence into sarcasm. Think about it. (Not a question, I know.)
  7. Why “Arlene Machiavelli”?
  8. Dude, seriously: What is up with Tarantino and naming Kill Bill characters after letters?
  9. While we’re at it: I still can’t think of a good reason why Tarantino thought to bleep Beatrix’s name until Elle speaks it.
  10. Where, exactly, was the scene with Michael Jai White supposed to fit in?
  11. Why two different sets of credits? Seeing Volume Two back in the day, I guessed that the two different credits — the one with the whole cast and then the one with Beatrix driving her car — resulted from the film being split into two halves. But what I watched last night is supposedly the cut of the film that initially screened at Cannes. (I mean, it did have the French subtitles.) This version still had both credit sequences. It sounds weird to say in reference to this movie, but doesn’t two separate sets of credits seem like, well, overkill?
This is all.

Kill Bill, previously:

4 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Take two, hopefully without the typos that occluded my meaning.

    I never considered Sophie's breasts to be threatened, as I assumed the line "Give me your other arm!" meant the Bride was about to hack off that limb. But considering the various feminist readings of Kill Bill, her breasts would have made for a more interesting story.

    Also, I more or less assumed Vernita was allowed to leave in payment for her participation in the attempted assassination of Beatrix. I have absolutely no evidence to support this, mind, it's just the way I mentally filled that plot hole. Plus, I know I would have demanded something more valuable than money to take on the deadliest person I knew, even in a group. Alternatively, Bill may have disbanded the DeVAS (or is it DiVAS?) after that hit, as O-Ren and Sophie apparently left Bill circle shortly after as well.

    One question I've always had, and you may know the answer, is why isn't Vernita visibly pregnant during the hit if their daughters are so close in age? The obvious answer is that they're about six months to a year apart in age, but in which direction? Did Bill pressure Vernita to do this during her, for lack of a better phrase, maternity leave? Or did Vernita only just become pregnant, and so possibly was making similar calculations that led to the attempted hit on Beatrix?

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  3. So Yuki didn't make the cut; did LF O'Boyle? And given your question, I take it the Michael Jai White scene was not in the Whole Bloody Affair?

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  4. Pedro: Yeah, I don't know why I didn't just assume that Uma would have cut off her arm. And you make good points about the DiVAS break-up. And yes, come to think of it, Vernita would at least have had to know she was pregnant when they attacked the chapel, if not actually showing. May well be an oversight on Tarantino's part.

    Fred: No, there were no no segments, just slightly different cuts of a few key scenes. No Yuki, No O'Boyle, no Michael Jai White. I suppose we'll never know exactly how White was supposed to fit in, and we'll never see Yuki or O'Boyle unless Tarantino decides to add an animated sequence.

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