“I hate uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?”
There are a few films everybody needs to see. Pulp Fiction is one of them.
Everybody told me I had to see Pulp Fiction, that it was a great film. Everybody knew it and talked about it, except me.
In fact, I remember I could see references to Pulp Fiction everywhere. I saw some of its parodies, like the one done by La hora chanante, in my translation class, when teaching about proper names, Pulp Fiction was the example about an exotic title in Spanish, but not in English.
Everything said me “Raquel, you have to see the film”, but I didn’t have time to do it.
Well, time is off and I’ve seen this film. OK. I recognized it's a great film, but I expected it was to be even better. I’m not saying I won’t recommend it, or I haven’t enjoyed it, but when everybody told me to see this film, I expected it will be the best film I’ve ever seen, and it’s not.
What I liked the most was that, while watching it, I thought about how would be the translation into Spanish. I’ve not seen the Spanish version, but I think translators did a good job. For me, and in comparison to Big Fish, it was a bit difficult to understand. It has a lot of slang vocabulary and repeated swearwords.
One thing which really surprised me was a little and not funny joke told by one of the female characters, which reads as follow:
“Three tomatoes are walking down the street: Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato and Baby Tomato. Baby Tomato starts lagging behind and Papa Tomato gets really angry, goes back and squishes him, and says, “Catch up” (Ketchup)”
When I heard it, I was curious as to the translation of that quote, because it was humour mixed with two homographs. In the Spanish version they only translate the joke like that, and it loses all its sense (Tres tomates caminan por la calle. Papá Tomate, Mamá Tomate y Bebé Tomate. El Bebé Tomate se despista y Papá Tomate se enfada muchísimo. Vuelve atrás, le aplasta y dice: Ketchup). It is similar as if we translate the Spanish joke “What is the art? - The art is to die of cold”. It has no sense in English so, I’d translate that quote (the tomatoes one) changing it by another with some sense in Spanish. I know it’s difficult because it is audiovisual translation where you have to do a translation as long as the original, trying to “fit in their lips”, but it’s not impossible.
Another thing about the translation was a scene where two people are learning Spanish. How is the Spanish version? It’s an easy one, they learn Portuguese.
Those things are very interesting for me, and I’m sorry not to have talked about the plot. It’s a great film, I can’t say more. I wouldn’t be able to classify in a specific genre, or say its principal topic. I think it’s, more or less, a black humour film.
Finally, if you like black or detective novels, black humour and so on, you’d probably love “El país de los ciegos”, a novel written by Claudio Cerdán with a plot taking place in Alicante. I don’t know if it has something to do with Pulp Fiction, but I read recently the novel, and, while watching the film, I remembered some scenes of the book.
As people usually say, I liked the book better.