This letter is in reference to Noah Berlatsky’s article entitled “Kill Bill’s Fatal Flaw” [May 14].

Tarantino is not pulling his punches. He never has, he never will. When Tim Roth cries and begs Harvey Keitel’s forgiveness [in Reservoir Dogs] I don’t recall anyone saying that Tarantino was forcing audiences to identify with anyone. Thurman’s outburst in the coffin is simply what it is: a badass killer tasting her own terrifying medicine. That scene occurs early on in the film for a reason. Tarantino is laughingly declaring his character “reborn” into motherhood and birth is a painful process that involves crying, right? So let’s get Thurman to cry. Jesus, I bet that’s EXACTLY how the scene was written.

Noah was right on target with the childhood trauma thing. That was an ace. But Noah failed to connect the dots. Two mothers die in this movie, Ishii’s and Nikki’s. What Thurman’s character embodies is the mother being aware of what happened to her children after her death.

This is why she cries on the floor clutching a teddy bear in the final scene. She didn’t so much deserve the prize of escaping the deathcult of her life and winning her motherhood and daughter back, but she caught it anyway. She’s weeping at a slot machine. Jackpot. BB is the prize. Lucky, lucky, fucking lucky her.

I love that she wins and that she isn’t a complete antihero. She’s a hybrid of everything, which, if you think about it, is basically what all of Tarantino’s movies are about.

Jim MacAyeal