Kill Bill VS Don’t Kill Bill: What Beatrix Really Decided
Country: USA, Japan
Genre: Action, Thriller, Drama, Crime
Year of production: 2003
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox
Quentin Tarantino’s attitude towards love is quite eccentric. He has his own – special – look at both romantic affection and deeper feelings. The meaning of the film “Kill Bill” (Kill Bill: Vol. 1) is quite simple, but the picture itself does not lose from this.
The plot of the movie
“Kill Bill” is a movie whose title clearly shows the main character’s goal and possible ending. There is a famous saying in the opening credits that says, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
The meaning of the movie “Kill Bill”, at first glance, is solely to commit a beautiful revenge. The idea of the picture also seems simple: the protagonist, the antagonist and his minions, who need to be eliminated. In principle, this is what happens in the course of the content of the picture, and in the finale the protagonist leaves “into the sunset”. The explanation is simple: in the finale we see the triumph of revenge.
Uma Thurman starring Beatrix Kiddo. Frame from the film.
However, everything is not so simple – if only because such an out-of-the-box thinking director as Tarantino would not shoot a picture with such a simple content.
The short plot of the film: the head of their criminal gang, Bill, shoots at the assassin Beatrix Kiddo. The shot falls in the head, but the heroine survives and decides to take revenge: she is convinced that the child she was carrying under her heart at that moment died. And it was Bill’s child.
The movie is called Kill Bill, but the irony is that the main character, Beatrix, doesn’t kill Bill at the end. Perhaps the explanation for this lies in the fact that this movie is not about revenge, but about forgiveness? ..
“Kill Bill” is a dilogy, or rather a mini (very mini) series. In addition, there is also a director’s cut, called “Kill Bill: Bloody”, and thanks to which the actions and motives of the characters become more understandable.
To find the clue to this movie, you should disassemble it in chronological order. And you should start with the events that took place 4 years before the present.
The viewer sees an assassin, Beatrice, nicknamed the Black Mamba. Her life changes for the first time when she finds out about her pregnancy. Her thinking makes a powerful “trick with her ears”, and Beatrice stops thinking like a killer – she starts thinking like a mother.
This is reflected in her behavior: the viewer sees her unwillingness to kill the girl who encroached on her own life. The Black Mamba resolves the conflict peacefully – despite the fact that she could kill the enemy.
Beatrix is desperately trying to live the life of an ordinary person. However, this leads to an attempt on her life: one day, someone shot her in the head. After that, the girl spent 4 years in a coma.
Waking up, Beatrix found that she was no longer pregnant. At that moment, her consciousness took a leap in the opposite direction: she is again the former Black Mamba, a highly skilled killer.
Killers performed by Lucy Liu, Vivica A Fox, Hanna Daryl and Michael Madsen. Frame from the film.
The heroine goes to Japan and arranges a bloodbath there. But all the same, the seeds of mercy have already managed to germinate in her, and she does not kill everyone. For example, she simply spanked one of the opponents with a sword blade and sent him to her mother. This mise en scene could be attributed to Tarantino’s peculiar sense of humor, but then Beatrix meets Vernita Green, who was the second name on her “death list”. The Black Mamba killed the enemy in front of a little girl – the daughter of Vernita. And deeply repented of it.
Then the most interesting begins. To understand everything, you need to place the events of the movie “Kill Bill” in chronological order.
There are two films in total and five people on the death list: O-Ran, Vernita, Budd, Ellie and Bill. Tarantino placed the scene with the murder of Vernita at the very beginning of the film. The point is that the alleged first murder of Beatrix is actually the last. That is, except for Vernita, no one else dies from her hand. This episode of the film “Kill Bill” is the key. Beatrix kills her mother in front of the child, but at the same time she understands that her act cannot be called right. She tries to hide the knife, and in her eyes – regret.
This episode marks the transition from the killer alter ego to the common man. I realized that I was on the wrong path. Beatrix is slowly turning away from the path of revenge.
The third name on the death list is Budd. Ellie kills him by throwing him a poisonous snake, a black mamba. Ellie herself is blinded by Beatrix in a fight, but leaves alive. She leaves some of her other enemies alone as well, including Esteban, a sadistic pimp who eventually leads her to Bill.
Arriving at Bill’s estate, she discovers him along with their daughter. He and little Bibi pretend that she shot them. After a fight at the table, Beatrix delivers a five-point heart-rending punch to Bill. After that, he takes five steps and dies.
David Carradine as Bill. Frame from the film.
But the catch is that such a blow never existed. Here the film takes a leap, and in a flashback the viewer sees Bill, who tells the legend according to which the great master Pei Mei killed all the Shaolin monks in the monastery a thousand years ago because one of them did not bow to him.
It’s a lie and both of them know it. During her training, Pei Mei taught Beatrix a three-inch kick, which later helped her get out of her coffin. The same master taught the girl the style of the eagle, thanks to which she easily blinded Ellie. But the scene in which the great master of combat would teach Beatrix five-point strike, in the movie “Kill Bill” is missing.
In addition, Bill, telling this legend, mentioned that Pei Mei never taught this. Even assuming that Pei Mei was in fact over a thousand years old and had taught Beatrix this technique, she would not withhold this information from the person she loved more than her life.
It’s like a piano in the bushes, and Tarantino’s techniques are not typical. The blow with which she beats her former lover in the chest is more like an eagle style – Bill also learned from this master.
Bleeding, he asks Beatrix if the master really taught her this technique? She shakes her head in response. This scene is very similar to the one that happened recently when Bill faked a gunshot wound. This is a game, the meaning of which is: “I will pretend to kill you, and you pretend to die.” This symbolically allows her to complete her revenge without killing him – because they still love each other.
At the end of the film, we see a scene in the bathroom: Beatrix is lying on the floor, hysterical, and says only one word: “Thank you.” She probably thanks Bill, who raised her daughter and let her go with her. She also thanks him for supporting the performance with the murder, which in the end allowed her to gracefully get out of the situation. They didn’t want to kill each other, and they didn’t. It all ended with forgiveness and mercy.
Before the hit episode, Beatrix and Bibi watch a Japanese movie called Shogun Assassin, and at the end, mother and daughter watch a cute cartoon. The meaning of the ending of the movie “Kill Bill” is that there will be no more death and revenge in their lives.
Killing villains is far from the most important thing that Tarantino wanted to show. According to its idiosyncratic philosophy, Kill Bill is a tough, gory film about mercy. The meaning of the film is that in the finale, Beatrix refuses revenge.
Titles and soundtrack
This interpretation would not have happened if Tarantino had not shown the credits: it is there that the clue lies that Bill was still alive.
Vernita Green played by Vivica Ay Fox. Frame from the film.
At the beginning of the credits, absolutely all the characters in the film are shown when they are alive – except for Bill. He is shown lying on the grass, implying that he is also alive.
Then it seemed to the director that the credits alone were not enough. He showed another one that included the names of the heroes on the death list and Beatrix. The names of the actors who played these characters (except for Beatrix) are crossed out. Bill’s name is not crossed out. This is another direct hint.
The song from “Kill Bill” is called “Lonely Shepherd”, which plays at the end.
Listen to The Lonely Shepherd — Zamfir on Yandex.Music
This song talks about summing up, it sings about a man already in years, about a man who has come a long and difficult path, about a man who has understood a lot. With a slight sad irony, he looks from his height at the past, and with firm hope, backed by experience – into the future.
There is a hidden meaning in this song: there is a lot of mature love in it, and it cannot reflect murder and revenge in any way.
The film’s title is most likely a reference to the popular American radio station K-Billy.
Also, “Kill Bill” can be translated as “kill list”, since the word “bill” can also be translated as “document” or “list”. And “Kill Bill” should have been written like this: “To kill Bill”.
In numerous analyzes and reviews, you can also find the opposite point of view.
Bill was hit with a heart injury. To understand whether this blow is a legend or not, you should simply familiarize yourself with the causes of bleeding from the mouth (hemoptysis): this happens with heart failure and extensive injuries and also indicates an unfavorable prognosis.
Frame from the film.
In addition, Japanese philosophy considers death often as a blessing, and the value of life there is much lower than the value of purpose or honor. The master taught Beatrix not to kill in feelings of blind revenge, but to understand her path and still reach the end. That’s why she kills Bill – loving, but still killing.
Because it makes sense, she has something to avenge, and this has become her real important goal. And besides, she does not make senseless killings, not because she is sorry, but because they will not affect anything within her path. Thus, having completed her revenge, she has the opportunity to start a new life, filling it with new meanings.
Probably, Tarantino simply left the opportunity to interpret this scene in two ways – as one likes.