Monday, April 19, 2004

Red Letters

Song of Solomon is good, but not good enough to distract me from something that's been bothering me about the names of the characters in "Kill Bill." I think Tarantino has a letter fixation. Case in point: Elle Driver, whose first name is L. And O-ren Ishii, whose name begins with the O being set off. Then there's the Bride's real name (and please stop reading if you haven't seen Volume 2 yet, in which case you should stop what you're doing, pull up your pants and get to a theater). Her name is Beatrix, and Elle even makes it a point of calling her "Bea" or possibly "B," depending on how the chintastic director wrote it. Vernita doesn't have a special letter, but her fake name that she uses to get married is "Jeannie," which works for G. Beatrix's fake name that she nearly gets married with is Arlene Machiavelli, which works for R. Beatrix and Bill's brat is named B.B. And two characters Tarantino cut out — casino owner L.F. O'Boyle and Yuki Yubari, Gogo's little sister — also have the whole letter thing going on. Double initial man Hanzo Hattori doesn't count, because Tarantino borrowed his character, name and all, but Tarantino's done the double initial think before, with Vic Vega and Vincent Vega and Mickey and Mallory and Mia and Marcellus Wallace. And then he actually paid enough attention to give brothers Bill and Budd the same letter pattern (B-vowel-double end consonant). And most conspicuously, Tarantino credits the genesis of this whole thing to himself and Uma with this note: "Based on a character by Q & U."

And tangentially, learning Beatrix Kiddo's real name puts a weird spin on the line that O-Ren and Beatrix share, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids."