Have you seen Pulp Fiction? Heard of it at least? Either way, I’m sure you’re familiar with the soundtrack album cover. Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) on a bed giving you a questionable look. You know the one. Any movie buff has seen this movie, and has probably looked into the soundtrack. Before you read any further, go watch the movie, really watch it, and then come back here.
What makes this movie so good? Well, a lot makes this movie good, but let’s dive into one of the first reasons, the soundtrack.
Have you ever watched a movie and then looked up the soundtrack only to see songs you don’t remember hearing? I have, especially with this movie. Right now (I’m googling), I’m seeing a song called “Teenagers in Love” by Woody Thorne. I don’t remember this song playing (and I’ve seen this movie a lot), but it does, When Mia and Vincent are in Jack Rabbit Slims. During that iconic diner scene, Mia and Vincent sit down to a meal and while they talk, music plays oh so quietly. You probably don’t hear it if you’re paying attention to what the two are saying, but if you listen for the music you can hear every note.
There’s something special about this scene. Vincent is so nervous about taking his boss’ wife out to dinner, but he tries to enjoy himself. They talk, laugh, smoke cigarettes, do drugs, a classic date night if you will. The feeling I get when I watch this scene is longing. The two clearly are enjoying each other’s company, but it’s almost forbidden. They can have harmless fun for the evening, but once he drops her off at her door the fun is over. Mia’s husband only needed Vincent to fill in for him for one night. It’s sad in a sense, you know what I mean? Maybe I’m putting too much into it, but I hope I’m not they only one feeling this way.
So, what does the soundtrack have to do with this scene. I said I had a feeling when I watched it. I guarantee that feeling had something to do with what music was playing in the background. A lot of songs play while they’re at the diner, but come on, a song called “Teenager in Love” plays while these two are talking on a date night, do I really need to connect the dots for you? Music does things to people, it makes us laugh, cry, feel good and feel bad. If Tarantino had chosen different songs for the diner scene, he could’ve evoked a completely different feel from his audience.
The next time you watch this movie, listen for the songs hidden in the background. A lot of thought goes into choosing these songs, and it really is a whole new movie experience once you hear them.
If you want to know more about the soundtrack and all the songs in it, visit this link.