I saw Pulp Fiction today, again, after a long time, mostly because I’m writing an essay on it. I literally remember almost everything in the movie, but because there’s so much happening, its easy to forget the little things. But there was something major that I noticed in the movie that could totally change the ending for me.
In the beginning, or the prologue, of the movie, we see Pumpkin (Tim Roth) and Honey Bunny (Amanda Plummer) at the Hawthorne Grill talking about how they’re going to rob the place and then the opening credits blast in. Towards the end of the movie, we see them once again (thanks to Tarantino’s genius non-linear script), when Jules (Smauel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) go there to eat breakfast after ‘The Bonnie Situation (I honestly don’t know why I’m giving the actors’ names; if you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction by now, well, you’re in The Valley of Darkness). Here’s that prologue:
Now, at the end of this scene, Amanda Plummer says, “Any of you fuckig pricks move and I’ll execute every last motherfucking one of ya!” Let’s look at the same line towards the end of the movie, which Tarantino used to establish that its the same place Jules and Vincent are in:
Skip to 05:15 in that video and you will see the same exact end to that scene, with only one small difference: Amanda Plummer says, “Any of you fucking pricks move, and I’ll execute every one of you motherfuckers!” See how her line changed? This is the first time I’m noticing it, and I can’t help but wonder, is this a goof by Tarantino? Or did he intend that slight change of dialog? I prefer to think that it’s the latter. And I have a theory based on this line change, which does change the ending for me.
Now, at this point in the movie, Jules and Vincent have had an argument regarding what Jules is going to do when he retires from the gangster life. Vincent cannot believe that Jules is sitting in the diner, spewing philosophical thoughts, hours after he executed Brett, Flock of Seagulls, and Hand Cannon Man. Jules is in his transitional phase, contemplating the meaning of his Ezekiel 25:17 line in his head, and he tells Pumpkin that fact in the video above. Jules wants to be a good man, the shepherd, when right now he isn’t. At this point, Pumpkin and Honey Bunny rob the diner and Honey Bunny says a slightly different line.
What if the final scene, where Pumpkin and Honey Bunny rob the diner and Jules lets them go, was Jules’ dream? Because it just seems too good to be true: two lowly punks tackle with Jules and Vincent, who are higher up on the gangster food chain, and walk away alive? No freaking way. Maybe this was Jules’ idea of how he could have brought himself on to the path of redemption, where he becomes the shepherd because he wants to. In reality, he would have just killed Pumpkin and Honey Bunny without thinking twice, but in his dream he doesn’t. He lets them go. Maybe Honey Bunny says a slightly different line because Jules was thinking about it after it actually happened, what he could have done. Maybe in that memory, he positions himself as the Shepherd because he feels guilty of what he did when divine intervention saved his life.
Or maybe it was a goof. Maybe the robbery happened the way it happened and Jules let them go. But it’s just some food for thought. What do you guys think? Post your thoughts in the comments…