Director and writer Quentin Tarantino is famous for his off-the- wall, outrageous characters that do all sorts of bizarre things. Most of the time, they exhibit serious criminal behavior as well. The funny part is that many of the characters feel they aren’t doing anything wrong. No one is struggling with the moral and ethical ramifications of their actions. Luckily, it’s done in a way that is humorous and totally out there in a pretty unrealistic way, especially in the movie “Pulp Fiction.” This is also true of some of his most recent movies as well, like Django Unchained”, “Inglorious Basterds”, and “The Hateful Eight.”
If you have never seen any of his films, you’ll find that, in all of them, madcap hilarity ensues with all of the odd ball characters in each film. Everyone’s lives intertwine in a way that is brilliantly written. If you want to go further into each character’s psyche, then you can easily see that so many of them display various mental illnesses throughout the movie. Here are a few possible characters from some of his films that might just be mentally ill.
Samuel L. Jackson plays this character with intensity. In the first main scene, you can see how Jules’ mood goes up and down quite easily in his interaction in the car with Vincent. While he goes to retrieve a briefcase from a bunch of young adults (who probably stole it), his mood swings are obvious. His anger is also on display often when he snaps into rage very readily throughout the film. He raises his voice to the point that it scares those around him. He even takes his anger to the extreme, shooting three people he is angry at in the first scene.
This is a man who is clearly down about life. He just got back from a long trip to France, where he probably consumed nothing but “Royales with Cheese” the entire time… just to make himself feel better. A classic sign of depression. His body posture also conveys his down attitude about life. He has slumped shoulders, is a bit overweight, and is quiet most of the time; he doesn’t smile or let anyone see his emotion.
This is especially true when he is out with Mia (Uma Thurman). They sit at a booth in a restaurant and she does most of the talking to get him to come out of his shell. Finally, when they dance to “Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry, you can see his mood visibly lift by the music and the funny way that Mia dances. Movement and music have been known to help those who suffer from depression issues.
Brad Pitt plays the character of “The Apache” in “Inglorious Bastards”. He wants to kill Nazi’s by scalping them, and he is only focused on revenge and exploring his anger through murdering others.
Leo Dicaprio plays a horrible slave owner in “Django Unchained.” There is one scene in particular where Candie just goes completely crazy. He loses his mind while talking to a table full of people at a dinner party, and he cuts into a human skull. Then he just starts screaming and showing intense rage. It seems like he might suffer some kind of mood swings that affect his behavior. Or he is just a violent man, nonetheless.
As one of the only female lead characters in any Tarantino film, Daisy in “The Hateful Eight” is about to be hanged for her crimes. Played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, she seems resigned to her fate, as a bounty hunter is bringing her to her own death. She displays traits of depression, but she is accepts what is happening to her.
Overall, Tarantino likes to portray some of people’s odd quirks, behaviors, and actions. After you watch his films a few times, you can see how all of it can add up to mental health issues. Still, Quentin Tarantino has made a set of characters in all of his work that are so appealing that the audience can’t help but love them regardless of their faults.
Written By: Karla Stephens-Tolstoy
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