The Bonnie Situation

The next chapter in the film is referred to as ‘The Bonnie Situation’, this sequence jumps back to part two of the film where Vincent and Jules retrieve Marsellus’s briefcase. The opening scene here is of a man we’ve never seen before holding a gun whilst hiding in a bathroom. The point of view has shifted this time round to that of this mystery gunman lying in wait. The gunman comes out of the bathroom and shoots until he is out of ammunition, both Vincent and Jules are unhurt by any of these bullets and proceed to open fire and kill the man.

Jules believes this to be ‘divine intervention’ as there are bullet holes in the wall behind them. This in itself ask the question of whether or not this could happen, the verisimilitude of the text is challenged by this act as it is never explained. Vincent and Jules seem to know and have some sort of relationship with one of the men in the room, the only one they haven’t killed or threatened, Marvin. The three men leave the crime scene still confused as to why they are still alive and on the car journey home Vincent accidentally shoots, and kills Marvin on the back seat.

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At this point they drive to a near by friends house, Jimmie Dimmick (Quentin Tarantino) to clean up the mess. The man sent by Marsellus to resolve the situation is Winston ‘The Wolf’ Wolfe (Harvey Keitel) who is dressed in a dinner suit at 8 o’clock in the morning. The reason Mr Wolfe is dressed so smartly is never explained, he also tells Marsellus over the phone that he is at least 30 minutes away yet he says, and does get there in under 10.

This again challenges the illusion of reality and conflicts with the aspect of time and space as he is so far away yet gets there so quickly, and he is wearing a dinner suit so early in the morning. He instructs Vincent and Jules in what to do to clean up the car and agrees with Jimmie to take all his bed linen and quilts to disguise the interior. Jimmie never mentions how he will explain where all these items have gone to his wife, and the issue is never raised among the other men.

This part of the film however, does explain why Vincent and Jules are wearing ridiculous clothes when they meet Marsellus earlier in the film. This is further evidence of a lack of linearity and continuity as this sequence is near the end of the film and chronologically Marsellus has already received his briefcase and Vincent is dead! The final chapter of the film takes us back to the start, even though it actually occurs 3 quarters of the way through the story.

We are back at the diner but this time with Vincent and Jules eating breakfast. As they eat two ‘wannabe’ diner bandits discuss how they are going to hold up the restaurant. As Vincent leaves to go to the bathroom the thieves who we find out to be Yolanda and Ringo stand up and proceed to attempt a robbery. This time round however, we notice that Yolanda’s (Amanda Plummer) dialogue is slightly different from the opening scene.

This may be a mistake or another example of how Pulp Fiction challenges the ideas of continuity and a classic structure. Another reason for the change may be that this time the point of view has shifted from Ringo to Yolanda, who may see the same sequence of events in a different view to that of her partner. Vincent and Jules are still holding the briefcase which again confirms the lack of space and time. Jules is also explaining to Vincent how he is about to go straight and retire from the gangster industry, this may explain his absence at Butch’s apartment where Vincent was killed.

As the robbery continues we see a shift of power and control from one to another and then back again. The original equilibrium of Vincent and Jules having breakfast is disrupted by the robbery but then re-established when Jules takes control back to protect the contents of the briefcase. In this scene Jules refers to his gun as ‘Mr 9mm’ yet it is a Colt 45. The film ends with Vincent and Jules walking out of the diner with what they set out to get, Marsellus’s briefcase, Yolanda and Ringo achieved what they wanted in holding up somewhere bigger and earning more money, and we know that Marsellus got his briefcase back.

We can also assume that Butch left LA with his winnings from the fight and the money from betting on such high odds of him winning. I feel the film as a whole is about resolution and although we see a multi narrative we can also see that they are unified by achieving what they set out to do. Pulp Fiction has many characteristics of a classic narrative but equally as many that challenge it.

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