the local church affiliated university has been running an informal series of movies chosen by professors who would like to illustrate the gospel message. i was more than a little intrigued to hear some of the choices made by profs, including last week's choice, Pulp Fiction.
i know, your reaction is Pulp Fiction? that's supposed to illustrate the gospel message? well yes, and brilliantly i might add.
first of all i had never seen the movie, which is just plain wrong on a few levels but i had seen several other of Quentin Tarantino's films and hadn't really been struck by his brilliance. i had known him to be about what i thought to be gratuitous violence and not at all about deeper thoughts like grace and redemption. but Pulp Fiction seemed to be all about redemption. seriously, i was blown away by the moments of grace in the movie. there were also significant moments of vindictiveness, justice through the eyes of tunnel visioned selfish people and judgment acted upon by individuals that should've been left to God but still there were significant moments of grace and redemption.
i had no idea that Travolta wasn't the main character, Jackson is. there are significant sidebars for Roth, Willis, Rhames and Thurman but i found it interesting the paths that everyone takes. Roth sees redemption because Jackson "buys back his life for him", Thurman sees redemption because Travolta redeems her life but Travolta never believes and sees judgment for it, Rhames sees grace because of Willis taking steps to redeem him and Willis sees redemption because Rhames cancels a debt.
the chopper that Willis steals is named Grace. the dungeon that Willis and Rhames were in was very much like a Hell environment and yet they both are redeemed from it. Willis kills Travolta with Travolta's own gun and i found it interesting that he refused to acknowledge the existence of the other world in all of his travels even though he was given 3 opportunities to see how things worked out for him over the course of the movie.
now if you're going to sit down to watch something like this you need to be prepared. the language is filthy, numerous people die and they don't die well. it's a brutal movie and it's also going to make you think. i seriously LOVED it. am i going to recommend it? maybe, it depends on who you are. i'll recommend it to all of my buddies who are willing to explore spiritual thought in its various forms but i'm certainly not recommending this to my mother.