The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

COLUMN: ‘Reservoir Dogs’: A group of truly colorful characters

Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Drew Coffey.

If there was a film that you could become completely lost and engaged with solely based on the dialogue, it would be the 1992 crime film “Reservoir Dogs.” 

The directorial debut for Quentin Tarantino stars Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Micheal Madsen, and even Tarantino himself.  

The film tells the story of a group of criminals who are brought together to carry out a heist. When the robbery goes south, the men, who go by colors rather than their own names, must find the rat who tipped off the police amongst themselves and escape the law.   

This film can only be described as unbelievably natural when it comes to the characters and their chemistry. From the very first scene, we see how they all interact, their personalities, and ideologies just from a simple, yet at times extremely crude, conversation in a diner.  

When juggling more than five characters, that can be a difficult feat to accomplish. And accomplish Tarantino does as the audience really does feel like the characters could be someone they truly know personally by the end of the film.  

The relationship between Mr. White and Mr. Orange, played by Keitel and Roth, is probably the most interesting aspect of the characters because they seem to have an authentic bond that the guys do not have.  

Micheal Madsen also shines with his screen time as he plays the most psychotic out of the criminal group. There is an unsettling and prowling nature to his performance that adds a much-needed source of tension throughout.  

Visually, the crime film is also shot almost like a play production with the warehouse being the main location with characters coming in and out of the scene. Tarantino utilizes a more “fly on the wall” style as the camera is mostly handheld following the chaos of the situation and how the characters are reacting to it.  

“Reservoir Dogs” also marks the start of Tarantino’s love for nonlinear storytelling.  

It was enjoyable to see how the events come to happen starting with the bloody aftermath of the botched heist. It makes the film feel more like a mystery as to what is going on as we are thrust into mayhem.  

Also, the individual backstories we saw of the main players were also a nice touch to continue the character development, showing what they were before the robbery.  

The music also feels very involved in the scene as we are given the broadcast of a certain radio station channel throughout the film. This leads to the famous ear scene, with the Stealers Wheel song “Stuck in the Middle with You” prominently in the scene.  

Overall, “Reservoir Dogs” is a film that absolutely hooks you from the very beginning with some of the most entertaining and rich dialogue seen in a movie. The characters, story, and visual style really complement the crime film and cement it as a legendary debut for Quentin Tarantino.  

Overall rating: 5/5 

Drew Coffey can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Drew Coffey
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest