Kill Bill, Volume 1:  Purging the Female Stereotype in Films Essay

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Kill Bill, Volume 1: Purging the female stereotype in films

Kill Bill, Volume 1 was vital in the purging, even eradicating the female stereotype in films. “Wiggle your big toe.” The toe doesn’t move. “Wiggle your big toe.” (Tarantino) It doesn’t move. The Bride played by actress Uma Thurman is really Beatrix Kiddo, but is known as Black Mamba as well as Arlene Machiavelli; her real name is bleeped out during Kill Bill, Volume 1 as she recounts the situation which led her to being in the back of a vehicle in a hospital parking lot with her legs in a state of atrophy whispering, “wiggle your big toe.” As she begins recounting the story of Bill’s assassination attempt using the Deadly Viper Squad, being shot in the head by Bill,
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As the film progresses and Beatrix is now on her bloody rampage, she becomes a warring warrior. Her dress at times is frumpy, ranging from a hospital gown to jeans and brown leather jacket to her yellow jumpsuit. Likewise, the yellow jumpsuit she dons in Kill Bill, Volume 1 is the same suit worn by legendary martial arts master, Bruce Lee in his last film, Game of Death. The color yellow is symbolic throughout the film and especially prevalent as she reverts back to Black Mamba in pursuit of vengeance. In some of Asian culture, the color yellow is associated with death.
One of the most striking features of Kill Bill, Vol. 1 is the focus on Beatrice Kiddo being a mother; it compels her quest for revenge. This is one of the film’s features that differentiates it from other films with women in leading roles. Anneke Smelik points to this apparent anomaly in stating, “Motherhood is generally not popular in the commercial Hollywood film. Being a mother is just not sexy or glamorous - at least not in Hollywood terms.” (189) Tarantino does an excellent job in taking away her erotic mystic in this respect as well. Motherhood is just not sexy in Hollywood.
Kill Bill, Volume 1 is both a steward and multiplex of women’s enfranchisement. Beatrix Kiddo is both a warrior and a mother. Kill Bill is a great example of the deconstruction, refocusing and purging of the female stereotype in film. It is noteworthy to add