The Bride

Welcome back to Women Who Wow Wednesday, the series about female characters I admire in film and TV. If you’re looking for additional WWW Wednesday posts, you can find them under the Features box of this site. Have fun!

Boy, oh, boy… I’ve wanted to write about this character for so long. I think it’s time. Back a few years ago, she rocked my world. I just hope I can do her justice with my homage to her character. Bear with me as I gather my thoughts.

Beatrix Kiddo
Beatrix Kiddo

If you haven’t seen the movie, I insist you drop everything, go to Netflix and get it. Hold on, read this post first, then get the movie!

In the first movie, the audience simply knows her as The Bride, a blonde of unassuming demeanor. Beaten to an unrecognizable blob by members of her own gang the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, she rises from the pool of her own juices, seeking those who betrayed her. One by one, she exacts revenge, leaving no one behind.

Who is she?

The Bride
The Bride

She’s Beatrix Kiddo. Although we don’t know that until the second movie where with her bare hands she cracks open the coffin they buried her in and continues to spread her wave of terror on those miserable traitors who left her for dead. The conclusion is when she comes face to face with the mastermind of the perpetration—Bill.

Yes. If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m talking about Uma Thurman’s character in the movies Kill Bill: Vol. 1-2.

When the studio A Band Apart Films released Quentin Tarantino’s ode to the Seventies Kung-Fu genre, it placed a solid bet of its success on the performance of Uma Thurman. After all, she worked in Tarantino’s first movie Pulp Fiction, how could they lose? Wow, did they sure win on that wager. The statuesque actress’ character cut, maimed, killed, decapitated, disemboweled, hurt, pounced, exterminated, vanquished, conquered, splattered, squished, destroyed, terminated, disfigured, mutilated, injured, slaughtered, and slew anything and everything that stood in her way. Here was a character with the single-minded resolve to hunt down and kill any collaborator who had turned on her. She was perfect.

And the box office loved her. A $30 Million budget—the film grossed $180 Million worldwide.

Kill Bill
Kill Bill

Her weapon of choice? A Samurai sword fashioned by Hattori Hanzo. The finest katana sword he ever created. And, the deadliest. With it, The Bride cut down the Crazy 88. But let her bare hands not fool you. She used them to pluck the eye out of Daryl Hannah’s character Elle Driver. And let’s not forget the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique she ultimately delivered on David Carradine’s character, Bill. She gave a whole new meaning to the phrase: He died of a broken heart.

If anything is clear, when the character The Bride made her debut in 2003, she not only made money for the studio, she also became a symbol of what was missing in movies a decade ago: A strong, leading lady, with determination and potency well above her male counterparts.

What do you think of Uma Thurman’s brutal portrayal of The Bride? Did she set the bar too high, leaving other female leads to rethink their acceptance of leading roles in action flicks? Let me know. Leave me a comment!

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10 thoughts on “The Bride

    • Elise, I’ve loved strong women in movies, books and in the arts in general for such a long time. They’ve always made a good film better. In fact, I noticed, the tougher the woman, the more appealing the film is to the audience. Must be some sub-conscience thing going on there…not sure. But I do know women with morals and a code of ethics in film inspires me.

      Thank you for your comment!

  1. Firstly thanks for liking my War Z fan fiction, appreciate it. This is a brilliant pick, kill bill is a legendary movie and besides Bill himself The Bride is a brutally good character who has so many facets to her. One of the best characters tarrantino has ever penned.

  2. Being a bit of kung fu film geek (especially the old Shaw Brothers movies from the 60s, 70s and 80s) I loved this film and I was able to pat myself on the back for getting a lot of the references.

  3. No one cuts it up like Uma, i think all the female roles in this movie were pretty hard core. I would say her and Mila Jovovavich would make pretty mean sparring buddies. i didn’t catch this series until late, but i’m glad i did, it was a bit hokey but very entertaining, one of Quentin’s best

    • No matter how much criticism Quentin Tarantino gets, he always makes the women in his movies strong, able and independent. I love that about his films. In the movie Inglorious Basterds, he puts the major plan to assassinate the Third Reich’s top leaders in the hands of a woman. In Jackie Brown, the main character? A woman. In Pulp Fiction? Uma Thurman played another top role as an incredibly determined woman.

      Tarantino’s movies rock! His women are strong-willed. They’re written to not take any flack from any possessive, domineering man. Especially a man high on himself, barking orders at them.

      I can’t wait until Kill Bill Vol. 3! Yup, the project’s in pre-production. A possible 2014 release date.

  4. One of my favorite movies EVER! Have you heard there is talk of Vol. 3 being released in 2014? Supposedly it will be centered around Nikki Green (the girl that watched Uma slay her mother, Copperhead) exacting revenge. So.Excited.

    • Mine, too! I just watched it recently–Sunday, Vol. 1 & 2, and I can see how Tarantino could make a sequel based on Nikki. What I found interesting in the movie is Nikki’s reaction to her mother’s death. She stood there without reacting, which gave me the feeling this wasn’t the end of her story because I didn’t see tears or any emotion whatsoever. Gosh, what a great movie that’s going to be. I can’t wait.

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