When people ask me what my favourite movie is, I do not have to think it twice to answer, it is Kill Bill 2. Now, in order to make of Kill Bill 2 your favourite movie, it is necessary to include Kill Bill 1. Therefore, let us just say Kill Bill is my favourite movie.
Quentin Tarantino always tries to differentiate from the rest of the movie writers and directors, and in fact he is quite different from the rest. However, Kill Bill follows, as any other movie, the pattern of the hero’s journey, in a very particular way. For many more movies follow this pattern, even horror movies such as “The Conjuring” according to Carlos Orozco at University at Buffalo.
Beatrix Kiddo, whose name we do not learn until halfway through the second movie, is our hero here. Nicknamed Black Mamba, Beatrix is somewhere between the antihero and the hero. For she is a repented assassin but also a heartless revenge-taker. However, within the mafia, I do not think there is really a hero or an antihero, there is just corruption and good corruption. Let us just say Beatrix uses corruption to avoid more corruption, even when her only intentions are to take revenge. Although the story is not told chronologically, like Pulp Fiction, for purposes of this article, we will analyze the pattern in chronologically.
The ordinary world of Beatrix is found in El Paso, Texas, place where she retracted when she discovered she was pregnant. Afraid of her baby being born in an atmosphere full of deaths and corruption, she thought she must run away to Texas to find herself a new, better life.
As she is in her wedding rehearsal, she hears a flute play. She knows who it is, it is Bill, the head master of the mafia. He had found her, and she understands vaguely what he is about to do, for she knows he is a heartless assassin as she was. Part of her, however, refuses to think he will do anything, since at some point Bill loved her. She speaks to him, makes him promise he will do nothing, he says he will sit at the Bride’s side and behave. As the wedding rehearsal starts, Bill’s henchmen come in and shoot everyone. She’s still alive, and pregnant, but they beat her up to exhaustion. Then, after some very crude words, Bill shoots her in the head.
Four years later, as she wakes up from a coma and realizes she’s lost the baby and four years of his precious life, Beatrix knows what she has to do. She has to kill Bill. But she needs help, she is weak, she needs a sword, a mentor. She goes to Japan for two reasons: to meet a mentor, Hatori Hanzo, and to take revenge of the first person in her revenge list, O-ren Ishii. So she does, meets Hatori Hanzo, gets training and a sword.
Hatori Hanzo gives his blessing for such a tough job he is willing to take. He also wants Bill dead. So, after a ceremony to bestow her with the power of the sword, she feels ready to go out and start the adventure. Hatori Hanzo wishes her luck in the long journey and she lives off to Tokyo to meet her first enemy, O-ren Ishii.
After this, the story is full of enemies she needs to kill. In movie 1, Oren-Ishii and Vernita Green, in movie 2, Budd, Elle Driver and Bill. Indeed she kills them all, directly or indirectly. Except for Sophie Fatal, who did not directly participate in Beatrix’s murder attempt, but she leaves her very well injured.
Before Budd dies, Beatrix is captured and buried alive, an inmost cave where she has to try her best, mentally and physically, to get out. In there, she reflects about her past, all the things she had to go through to get to that point. She remembers when she was trained, by Pai Mei, as she was still in love with Bill. That gives her strength to break through the casket and rise up to life like out of the dirt like a zombie, with the victory of the most claustrophobic ordeal. Now she is ready to continue, she feels unbreakable.
She finds Budd is dead, Elle killed him. Beatrix fights death, leaves her blind, as she plucked out her remaining eye, and leaves her alive, but blind. This is the first and only show of tiny compassion by the hero. Beatrix and Elle are similar in that Beatrix was Bill’s lover, and Elle is Bill’s lover. Probably that is why she can make empathy and understand why Elle does all she does, since Beatrix used to do the same.
As Beatrix reaches to Bill’s hideout, she finds her daughter is alive, she was always alive and with Bill. She breaks to tears and almost feels she wants to give up. She prefers to be with her baby at the expense of Bill’s life. Beatrix talks to Bill, Bill talks to Beatrix, they both try to understand each other. Bill tries to understand why she left him alone, since he loved her so. Beatrix gives an explanation and asks how he could mean to kill her, Bill gives her an explanation. After their explanations are made, there is not mercy, there is unfinished business and they must give an end. Someone needs to die that evening. A resurrection of all the emotions of revenge, mingled with remaining of love for Bill, make Beatrix the winner of the fight. Bill dies, she cries all her sorrow.
In the end, Beatrix leaves with her daughter to start a new life again. Her daughter BB, her elixir.