Esmeralda: it is a minor quirk. Maybe, more than just one, no? Have you ever seen a taxi driver with no shoes, woman, that talks as much as she does (+with that accent), that is so interested and interesting, that has so many insightful questions for a boxer she just met? She's on screen for probably 3 minutes and we are overloaded with this details.
Would you see that in any other movie? No, unless the director has the same fetish for baroque overwriting as Tarantino.
But that could have been the one quirky character in a normal world. Instead that goes for EVERYBODY in this movie. They are all minor quirks, but you put them all together in the same movie and you get what I put in this thread title: every single character is such a character!
Stolz+wife, they are supposedly UNDERPLAYED, meaning: they are drug dealers but they lead a "normal" everyday life, with the tv show, cereal dinner, bickering etc. It's, again, a quirky take on a type (drug dealers). Add to that all the details we see in their 2 scenes (I would write for too long to list them all, but they are certainly some very quirky drug dealers) and you get 2 more overwrought characters.
Overwriting means: could they be written in a leaner, less distracting way? Is if functional to the story to know that Jody has a piercing on her clit+tongue, and why that useful? If you think about it, she could have been left out of the script alltogether.
I have seen female taxi drivers, yes. From my experience, several drivers have accents as well. As for talking, some do and some don't. I don't consider any of that out of the norm. And sure, she asks Butch a lot of questions about him. If you think that scene was about Esmerelda, then I think you're missing the point. That scene is all about Butch.
As for the drug dealers, you might be surprised how normal and mundane they are in real life. Fiction sometimes has us believe they are all psychos with guns that are constantly showing up at schools to force kids to do drugs but more often than not, they're just some normal schlubs living in crappy houses or apartments. They watch TV and bicker and do normal things.
Yes I'm not saying they are unrealistic. I'm saying they are unrealistically overloaded with special details, that in the movie are unneded and/or distracting. Baroque for the sake of it.
That scene is about Butch, EXACTLY MY POINT!
Gimme an invisible dude that ask some questions and reveals what he feels for killing a man etc. What's the point of Esmeralda Villa Lobos (or whatever is her overdetailed name), her bare feet, the jewelry she wears, etc? I couldn't care less about her!
One thing is to make an interesting character, another one is to push unwanted details for the sake of it. At the end, instead of focusing on what the movie is really about, the movie becomes about that pointles stuff.
I can think of at least one time where I had a female taxi driver with an accent talk to me on my trip. Her name is Hispanic and their names can be long. I've known quite a few Latinos with long names. That's the culture. I don't know what you mean by her jewelry. I guess she's wearing some?
It seems your only complaint is with a single side character being mildly unique. It's far from EVERY character being unique and quirky.
Nope, it seems like YOUR only objections are about this one, I'm replying to your complaints about my post.
And frankly, I'm not gonna reply to every single character in PF and explain to you how they are overdetailed for no reasons.
I think I made my point quite clearly.
You haven't really. You've mostly talked about Esmerelda who, according to you is at least partially quirky because she is a foreign woman. You mentioned a few no-name extras and one minor character who had a single line of dialogue as being quirky, although you walked that one back. Last, you mentioned Lance and Jody as being unique... because they are not unique. If you are going to make a blanket statement about all the characters in a movie, particularly one with many characters, you should be prepared to explain yourself at length.
Ok, I like your attitude, but I think it's a bit unreasonable from you to expect me to be clearer than I've been and need me to go into details about every character. I'm not making a "blanket statement", it's a statement that does apply to all of them, with only those two exceptions I made.
The fact that Esmeralda is foreigner is not quirky, but it is another unneded extra detail: I would say that most cab drivers in US are foreingers. Do we need to stress it this badly, so Butch needs to read her name and comment on it? When is the last time you entered a cab and cared about the driver's name, and then said "ah, your name is Tarek Abdul! That's such a great name! What does it mean?".
So now, other than ask me again about Esmeralda, which other quirky character in this movie you don't understand it's unnecessary overwrought?
I've already mentioned many of them above. For instance, Jimmy was just a normal guy who had good coffee and a wife that worked as a nurse. We never get his backstory. He could have been a former hitman which would explain how Jules knew him and could give him an extra quirk, but it's left vague. That is the opposite of what you are criticizing this movie to be.
Brad and his cronies look like typical young guys. We have no idea what their plan was or even what they stole from Marsellus Wallace. We're left, once again, with very vague characters who have zero backstory, have no defining quirks, and the only one who speaks at length is Brad and that's because Jules forces him to.
Going back to Butch, the guy is a huge nobody. Butch talking about Esmerelda's name leads to him admitting his name doesn't mean shit. It adds to his nebulous nature. His career is meaningless, his name is meaningless, and he has nothing to fight for... until the watch is lost. The watch has a more interesting backstory than him.
Ringo and Honey Bunny are just two bit thieves. The only thing that makes them quirky is their plan. It's actually a clever plan, so I think it's uniqueness could be forgiven. As for the backstory, we never get their names, let alone their backstories. Honey Bunny is Ringo's pet name for her and Ringo is only called that as a derogatory nickname by Jules. They are pretty much unknown entities.
As mentioned before, Lance and Jody are just loser drug dealers. Nothing special is revealed about them other than having some minor nursing skills which is important to the plot.
Jimmy was another overwrought character, who has to pester us with his problems about his nurse wife coming back home because, you know, we care so much about Jimmy having seen him for 5 minutes and knowing that he cases so much about his coffee and linens from his uncle. I can go on for another 5 paragraph about "Jimmy the normal guy". Do I have to?
It's another minor unimportant character who crams way too many useless informations about him.
Brad etc, also "regular guys": they are on screen for 5 min or less, their function is to trigger Jules' speech n conversion. Instead of cutting to the chase, we endure the burger bs n the "what" dialogue. Which are useful to show Jules' inexorability, but also give us the impression that Brad is in the wrong line of business. Which is getting to my point: Brad's "regularity" is what makes him quirky. So is the flock of seagull friend. They couldn't just be 3 shady hoodlums in an alley: they had to be some student type in an apartment eating cheeseburgers for breakfast. Tasty ones, because it's important for us to know that they like their burgers good...Don't you think that's unneeded details for a scene that was there only to show us Jules' character?
Ringo n HB, they are not that "minor" characters so I could use the details we are given, like Vincent or Butch.
Look, I think our discussion should settle on this:
one point PF makes is that everybody, even the gimp, has a backstory and more character to them than we are told in most other movies.
What bothers me (but not you) is that such a "clever" observation had its day in the sun when it was fresh, 30 years ago. After repeated viewings and many imitators, the quirks and originality of each character wear thin, and appear to me as gimmicky, distracting and not needed, while to you they are barely noticeable and welcome.
Jimmy's wife coming home is a threat to the main characters. That is not a backstory. It's a conflict.
Jules' dialogue with Brad and his friends is also not backstory. It's just dialogue. Jules is playing mind games showing the audience how cold and intense he is so that we have something to juxtapose when he has his "moment of clarity". As for Brad and his friends being "student-types", we need them to be in over their heads so Jules and Vincent seem fully in control of the situation until the moment a guy pops out of the bathroom with a handcanon. That's what kicks off Jules and Vincent's debate about miracles.
I didn't say anything about that dialogue being backstory, I said that its function is to reveal Jules character.
If anything, them being student types detracts from the whole confrontation and makes the whole miracle debate stupid: the guy with the gun looked like it was the first time he ever used it.
Hence, he missed like that.
Not much of a miracle, I don't know why either one was so surprised. Other than, them being rookies too.
Even more, wouldn't they be used to be the target of bullets? Jules later says "this is not the first time a gun was pointed at me". Maybe he was referring to this incident only, like it never actually happened before that day!
Seriously, any real gangsta would have known what happened there with that rookie, and would have chalked it up as routine.
Just one more example where quirky plays against the movie, instead of for it.