April 16, 2004

Kill Bill Comments With Spoilers

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 16, 2004 3:47 PM

You may not want to click below if you haven't seen Kill Bill vol. 2 yet.

What tipped me off to the Joseph Campbell hero myth thing was The Bride being buried alive, which seemed like a very obvious "journey to the underworld". That's immediately followed (in the narrative, but not chronologically) by the training with Pai Mei which functions as the hero's trial (see also, e.g. Luke training with Yoda).

A pretty classic final stage of the trial is for the hero to face his dark side - Luke and Yoda again, or Cecil in Final Fantasy IV. I argue that Elle Driver represents the Bride's dark side. The two characters have a number of parallel aspects: both lovers of Bill, both students of Pai Mei, etc., but Elle differentiates herself by being evil to an extent unmatched even among this cast of killers. And then there's the mirror-image quality of The Bride's sword duel with Elle. Could this be why Elle was allowed to live?

On a different subject, how many different places does the number five appear? Five DiVAS (counting Black Mamba but not Bill), the Death List Five, the Five Point Exploding Heart Technique (and the five steps of its victim). Any others? (In The Da Vinci Code the number five represented femininity.)

Something I noticed during my third viewing of vol. 1 (back on Valentine's Day): when The Bride speaks to her defeated opponents in The House of Blue Leaves, claiming ownership of their severed limbs, she is lit from behind so that her hair becomes a kind of glowing halo. I think here she is speaking for the gods of vengeance that have been supporting her quest. After all, "When fortune smiles on something as violent and ugly as revenge, it seems proof like no other, that not only God exists, you're doing his will. "

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