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Friday, November 7, 2008

Great Last Scenes: Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Year: 2003
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Great Because...: In a word? Awesome. At least that's the word my friend chose as the credits rolled when we saw this in the theatre. Sure, in some ways its a non-ending ending, but its purpose is not just to close one movie, but also to lead into another and it does that in an incredibly effective way.

So here's what we get at the end of Volume 1: after winning an epic battle with O-Ren Ishii, The Bride uses minor league henchman Sofie Fatale to convey a message to Bill: I'm coming, get ready.

We then cut to The Bride on a plane, making her Death List. With each name she puts down, we get a shot of that particular enemy with one exception: Bill. The man himself remains out of sight to the very end, a voice which nonetheless manages to create a presence in the film that it hard to escape. For all the intensity of the rest of the movie, I don't think there's any moment more frought with tension than when Bill walks up behind a disfigured Sofie, puts his hands on her shoulders and laments what has become of his "beautiful and brilliant Sofie."

And then of course there's the big moment, when Bill asks Sofie whether The Bride is aware that her daughter is alive. It is a brilliant moment, played to perfection. How could you not want to see Volume 2 after this?

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