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Four Rooms - The Least Known Tarantino Movie
Quentin Tarantino and the world
This is going to be a highly opinionated and biased review which will waste most of its time in asserting that Quentin Tarantino is a living legend, should be given at least five more Oscars, should be knighted, and is responsible for making the world a better place.
Four Rooms is an anthology made by four ambitious and off-beat directors at the beginning of their careers and is a nevertheless better comedy than often is given credit for. It is ideally difficult to see the movie as a whole, what with four directors presenting four chapters. Rather it is easier to see it as four short stories that have little connecting joints between them. Clearly enough, the movie gets better as it progresses and as we see the two better directors warming up for their illustrious careers. I am of course talking about Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Besides, the movie sees heavy star cast in the likes of Antonio Banderas, Tim Roth, Marisa Tomei, Madonna, Bruce Willis, Quentin Tarantino himself and the better parts of Salma Hayek(Pun intended).
The movie is divided in four sections or chapters:
The Missing Ingredient
The Wrong Man
The Man from Hollywood
Now how do I complete this review without swearing even once.
Mon Signor Hotel
The movie is a tale of a bellhop, Ted(Tim Roth) who is in charge of Hotel Mon Signor, a once very famous and prestigious hotel and which has now fallen upon hard times. Ted is in his first day on duty as a bellhop with no one else to assist him. With preliminary instructions thrown in, Ted is left in charge of the hotel with little anticipation of the night he is about to face.
The Missing Ingredient
Director: Allison Anders
The movie begins like a semi-erotic drama in which five witches(who are really hot and couple of them topless) set out to reincarnate the soul of the Goddess of their "coven", Diana, who was turned into stone some forty years ago in the same Honeymoon suite in which they are staying. They need five ingredients to add to their bluish liquid namely: milk from breast of women, virgin's blood, sweat of five men's thighs, year worth of tears and... sperm from a man, the last of which is missing. Now the witches have little choice but to take it from one man that is available at the hotel that they know of, Ted, the bellhop. What follows is a lot of editing of the most interesting part which we might be anticipating and that's all that there really is.
Besides what is mentioned, Ted also gets a fifty dollar tip which I guess is insignificant but just mentioning for a build up.
The section is thoroughly entertaining for guys with gorgeous ladies topless as well as lots of dirty talks and mildly entertaining for public in general. And if I may add, least favorite of the four for me.
The Wrong Man
Director: Alexandre Rockwell
This begins with a shot of couple of man who are partying hard in the lounge of the hotel and in dire need of ice. No doubt they are drunk enough to forget their room number and our poor Ted is about to begin his second adventure as he enters the wrong room thanks to them. Room no: 404. What Ted finds inside is a man with a gun pointed at him and a women tied up and gagged. Ted next experiences a kind of role play situation created by Sigfried and his girl mate, Angela where Ted is being accused of making out with Angela. With gun pointed at his head, Ted has little option but to carry on with Sigfried's commentary which gets weirder and weirder. But the real fun begins once Angela's gag is removed and we realize who the real boss is.
I am not giving the narration any justice it deserves by failing to describe the hilarity of the situation. The scene is just between these three actors and a lot of vocabulary thrown in at the end of the scene(wish I could describe what I meant.) In the end, Ted somehow finds the perfect moment to escape from the situation. This section is better than the first and a build up for the better half of the movie.
Director: Robert Rodriguez
It is new year's eve and even "Bad" men have a family and like to party. Antonio Banderas leaves little to complain when he plays the role of some mafia figure(not mentioned yet clearly he is). The Man and his wife get in mood and decide to leave their kids under the jurisdiction of Ted, the bellhop and attend a party. Ted obviously finds hard to refuse this offer with five hundred dollars thrown him to watch a couple of harmless kids who look so innocent and when all he has to do is see if they need anything every half hour.
The drama begins as soon as the couple leave the room in their feat of passion. The kids within no time manage to find syringes, a bottle of champagne, cigarettes and a dead body in their room. To top it all, they also find an Adult channel with(any guesses?) Salma Hayek dancing in a bikini.And then the room is finally set on fire. The scene finishes with the best part of all of this situation thrown in on the face of THE MAN who is back from his party.
I don't know if it was incidental, but the movie simply gets better with every scene until finally we meet the mastermind. I have utter respect for Robert R. as well(after watching Sin City), but Tarantino is a different world altogether.
The Man from Hollywood
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Chester Rush(Quentin Tarantino) is a famous Hollywood actor who is staying with his entourage(one of them is Bruce Willis, not as Bruce Willis) at the penthouse of Mon Signor Hotel, a hotel which was once a haven for movie stars. By the time, the reception is ringing with a call from the penthouse, Ted has already made up his mind to leave the hotel having too many out of the world experiences for a night. After a long and appealing request from Betty, who is some sort of manager at the Mon Signor and also on a holiday on her New Year Eve, Ted finally decides to serve the weird list of items on the list requested by Chester Rush which includes: a block of wood, three nails, a ball of twine, bucket of ice and a hatchet.
Now we all do weird stuff when we get drunk, but this one sure tops the list. That is sadly all I can say. I have little choice but to stop here as I don't want to give out anything, It is not about some mystery I am protecting but the sheer build up of a really nice short film. Quentin Tarantino doesn't act that great and he surely realized that I guess. Bruce Willis was in his prime phase around this movie and we can see his good screen presence even if it is not even for a span of ten minutes.
This movie gets better as we go as I have mentioned couple of times before and all of the actors have but little screen time except of course Tim Roth, whose character looks quite uncomfortable, or as we may call shaky. Whether it was intentional or just lack of skills, we need time to see him adjust to screen. The movie is obviously more suited for male genre and girls with a taste for some raw comedy. This might possibly be the only Tarantino movie without bloodshed(Ummm..). The movie never got any critical acclaims or even standard recognition as a good comedy. However I am convinced there would have been different reaction if this same movie had been released today what with a huge fan following of Tarantino and Robert R. All said, it is a must watch at least after you have kept your patience through the first half.
P.S.: I am sure this movie will soon get a cult following the way it happened for so many directors and movies after losing their initial glory moment.