The Bride (Kill Bill)

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The Bride
Kill Bill character
The bride (kill bill).JPG
The Bride fighting the Crazy 88
First appearanceKill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
Last appearanceKill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Created byQuentin Tarantino
Uma Thurman
Portrayed byUma Thurman
In-universe information
Full nameBeatrix Kiddo
AliasBlack Mamba
Arlene Machiavelli
GenderFemale
OccupationAssassin
ChildrenB.B. (daughter)
NationalityAmerican

Beatrix "The Bride" Kiddo (codename: Black Mamba) is a fictional character and the protagonist of the two-part film Kill Bill directed by Quentin Tarantino. She is portrayed by Uma Thurman. Kiddo was ranked by Empire magazine as 23rd of "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters" of all time,[1] and Entertainment Weekly named her as one of "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years".[2]

Creation[edit]

According to Uma Thurman, she and Tarantino created the character collaboratively during the filming of Pulp Fiction, with Thurman providing the character's first name and Tarantino her last name.[citation needed] After the release of Kill Bill: Volume 2, Tarantino commented that he "love[s] the Bride" and that he "killed [him]self to put her in a good place" for the ending.[3]

Most of The Bride's attributes come from Tarantino's development of Shosanna Dreyfus for his film Inglourious Basterds which he started to work on before Kill Bill. Originally Dreyfus was a badass assassin who had a list of Nazis she would cross off as she killed. Tarantino later switched the character over to The Bride and redeveloped Dreyfus.[4]

Tarantino has said he saved most of the Bride's nuanced character development for the second half: "As far as the first half is concerned, I didn't want to make her sympathetic. I wanted to make her scary."[5] Thurman cited Clint Eastwood's performance as Blondie in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as a central inspiration for her performance because, in her words, Eastwood "says almost nothing but somehow manages to portray a whole character."[6]

Kill Bill[edit]

Kiddo is a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, an elite, shadowy group of assassins. She is trained by martial arts master Pai Mei and becomes the right hand of Bill, her boss and lover, provoking the envy of fellow Viper Elle Driver.

When she discovers she is pregnant with Bill's child, Kiddo abandons the Deadly Vipers so her baby can have a better life and becomes engaged. Bill, assuming her fiancé is the father, orders them assassinated at the chapel and shoots her in the head.

Kiddo survives and falls into a coma. Bill aborts an order to have her assassinated in the hospital, considering it dishonorable when she cannot defend herself. Kiddo awakens from the coma and is horrified to find that she is no longer pregnant. She tracks down the Deadly Vipers, including O-Ren Ishii, now the leader of the Tokyo yakuza, and exacts revenge.

In Mexico, Kiddo tracks Bill to a hotel and discovers that their daughter B.B. is still alive, now four years old. Kiddo kills Bill using the five-point-palm exploding heart technique, taught to her by Pai Mai. Beatrix leaves with B.B. to start a new life.

Cultural impact[edit]

Beatrix Kiddo was well received by audiences. Empire Magazine ranked the character 23rd out of 100 in its list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.[1] Entertainment Weekly also named the Bride as 99th on its 2010 list of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.[2] In 2013, researchers named a new species of parasitic wasp, Cystomastacoides kiddo, after the character, stating that the naming was inspired by "the deadly biology [of the wasp] to the host."[7][8] Kobe Bryant adopted the character's codename "Black Mamba" as his own nickname in his career.[9]

Although her character was named "The Blonde Fox" (a different character than Mia Wallace's on Fox Force Five),[10] actress Evan Rachel Wood played a character inspired by both Thurman's character Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction and The Bride for a 2019 stage musical based on Tarantino's films and featuring music from his films, titled Fox Force Five and the Tyranny of Evil Men (Fox Force Five is a fictional TV series mentioned in Pulp Fiction).[11] The character was later portrayed by Lindsey Gort in a 2021 version of the play.[12]

In 2015 the rock band Fall Out Boy released the single "Uma Thurman", influenced by Mia Wallace, The Bride and Dick Dale's "Misirlou" which was featured in Pulp Fiction.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire. Bauer Consumer Media Limited. 29 June 2015. Archived from the original on 29 March 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  2. ^ a b Vary, Adam B. (June 1, 2010). "The 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years: Here's our full list!". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on January 11, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  3. ^ Schilling, Mary Kaye (April 16, 2004). "The Second Coming". Entertainment Weekly (Interview). Meredith Corporation.
  4. ^ Rose, Charlie (August 21, 2009). "Quentin Tarantino". Charlie Rose on PBS (Interview). Event occurs at 22:00-24:00. Archived from the original on December 18, 2021. Retrieved March 8, 2022 – via charlierose.com.
  5. ^ Ansen, David (November 13, 2003). "Pulp Friction". Newsweek (Interview). New York City: IBT Media.
  6. ^ "99, Kill Bill's The Bride". Entertainment Weekly (Interview). New York City: Meredith Corporation. June 4, 2010.
  7. ^ LiveScience Staff (March 19, 2013). "Kiddo Wasp Named for 'Kill Bill' Assassin". LiveScience. TechMediaNetwork. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  8. ^ Quicke, Donald L.J.; Smith, M. Alex; Hrcek, Jan; Butcher, Buntika Areekul (2013). "Cystomastacoides van Achterberg (Braconidae, Rogadinae): first host record and descriptions of three new species from Thailand and Papua New Guinea". Journal of Hymenoptera Research. Washington, D.C.: International Society of Hymenopterists. 31: 65–78.
  9. ^ Lee, Alicia (January 27, 2020). "Why Kobe Bryant gave himself the nickname 'Black Mamba'". CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-07-11. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
  10. ^ Tyler, Adrienne (September 22, 2019). "How Pulp Fiction Predicted Kill Bill (9 Years Early)". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  11. ^ Cristi, A.A. (June 26, 2019). "Evan Rachel Wood and Reeve Carney To Star In Live Music of Tarantino Concert". BroadwayWorld. Archived from the original on March 12, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  12. ^ Thompson, Simon (September 9, 2021). "'Tarantino Live' Is An Immersive Theatrical Experience That Will Blow You Away". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 12, 2022. Retrieved March 12, 2022.
  13. ^ Trzcinski, Matthew (October 1, 2020). "How Uma Thurman Reacted to Fall Out Boy Using Her Name". Cheat Sheet. Archived from the original on May 8, 2021. Retrieved March 15, 2022.