The editing style in the movie Reservoir Dogs by writer and director Quentin Tarantino is an example of a film going against the continuity editing style. When considering a movie to be using the continuity style the movie must consistent of a few editing techniques that are trying to envelope the audience into the story, and make them forget that they are watching a movie. Reservoir Dogs goes against continuity style through the use of long takes during dialogue, and the atemporal storyline. The movie being edited in non-sequential order is metaphorical for the bank robbery and how it quickly became disorganized.
If the story had been told in sequential order than the film would have a different meaning. Editing the story out of order lends itself to a theme of the movie that people are not as they may seem. The movie is pushed forward mainly through use of dialogue between characters, and during these conversations Tarantino uses several long takes with a stationary camera with a two or multiple shot. The scene where Mr. White and Mr. Pink are in the kitchen of an abandon warehouse can be used to illustrate this.
Some shots within the scene have the characters in long shots, which allows the audience to see the characters full body and their performance. With the characters fully within the frame they can express their emotions, and at the same time the audience can see all of their frantic behavior such as trying several times to get a lighter to light or them pacing back and forth. The long shot establishes the scene and the long take creates a sense of tension because the characters uneasiness can easily be noticed.
The dialogue also creates a sense of tension because the conversation between Mr. White and Mr. Pink is about how they think they have a rat inside the group that told the police about their robbery, and with a rat amongst their group they don’t know whom they can trust. The story being told of out logical sequence can be used as a metaphor for how the bank robbery became mess. The film begins with the group at a diner eating breakfast, and nobody mentions anything about robbing a jewelry store, so when the next scene begins with one of the characters in the back seat of a car covered in blood screaming, we immediately know we have missed omething important.
Then throughout the rest of the film there are flashbacks to give the audience more detail about the characters, and about how the jewelry store robbery became a blood bath. The flashbacks focus on developing the characters before and after the robbery, but never occur during the robbery, so the audience does not get to see what happened inside the jewelry store we only know what happened through the dialogue.
The last flashback in the movie is about Mr. Orange who turns out to be an undercover cop who exposes the groups plan to rob the jewelry store. His flashback is the longest because it recounts how he was able to join the group because he was able to convince them to trust him through his storytelling of a drug deal in which he entered a bathroom with four county sheriffs and a drug dog and made it out unscathed.
This sequence uses several editing techniques such as parallel editing because while Mr. Orange is telling the story at the bar we are seeing another scene where he is actually in a bathroom with cops, and the two scenes are connected by his voice over and the background music. After that it’s a sequence of scenes that lead up to the robbery then it skips the robbery, and explains how Mr. Orange bleeding in the beginning of the movie. At the end of the flashback sequence the movie has a straight cut back to the warehouse where most of the film has taken place and which is where the movie ends.
And at the end the theme of the movie is reintroduced by Mr. Orange telling Mr. White the truth that he is a cop, but after Mr. White has killed two of his oldest friends who accused him of being one. Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs goes against the continuity style of editing through the use of long takes, and atemporal ordering of movie sequences. The film, however, envelops the audience in the movie similar to a movie that is using continuity style editing, but instead Tarantino does captures the audience through the use of dialogue, characters’ performances, and the overall editing of the movie.