Mr. Pink (likeprofesional) wrote in resdog_fic,
Mr. Pink

~Discussion Time: What if Mr. Pink was gay?

I'm hoping this community isn't completely dead. That'd make me sad. Seriously guize, I just saw the film for the first time like two weeks ago. Mr. Orange surprised me. Don't ask me how I avoided that spoiler this long, I have no idea.

Anywho, I was discussing this with a friend; and by 'discussing' I mean delving into Mr. Pink's characterization as much as possible (thank you, film, for giving us no backstory). And I thought, 'What if he really is gay?'

Consider: He never outright denies it when Joe calls him that. When the other guys LOL, he just has this look (icon! and yes I was watching him way too closely on my second viewing) that isn't really anger at the 'faggot' statement, but it seems, possibly, that he's eye-rolling at the other dudes lack of maturity. Its like 'Seriously, guys? Stop acting like high school jocks.'

He seems more opposed to the color than the reason behind it. (Pink = pussy = masculinity issues?) The color he requests after, purple, is really not much better than pink, if you think about it. Then again, I was 6 in 1992 so, for frame of reference, is purple a more manly color than pink? Because its an off-shade of blue?

So. Yeah. Discuss? Ideas? I'm all curious here.
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i HOPE it's not dead. anyway, i'm here, so hi!

i haven't actually seen this movie in years (though it remains one of my favorites; mr. pink being my favorite character!) but i know i totally thought of him as gay. this is definitely just my slashy bias talking, though.

now i need to re-watch it! i even bought the screenplay a long time ago just to see if there would be a bit more backstory in it (fingers were crossed and everything), but no luck.
Hello there! This isn't my personal journal by the by; just an RP one. :)

I have read there's biographies for the characters on the 15th Anniversary Edition - the blu ray of which I've ordered - but I doubt they would mention that. I mean, QT probably didn't intend any of the guys as gay or anything, and I get that. But, still, I can't help but wonder what if, y'know? (Why yes, my own slash bias is definitely showing, haha)

It only raises more questions though. If he is, how did Joe find out? Catch him with his pants down, so to speak? (Then again, you blackmail someone with that, not put them on an important heist). Why declare it to the guys?
I'm dismayed at the relative silence around here too! Glad to see some new discussion, though!

That's what I love about this movie, is how much you can pull out of it. Every time I watch it, I find something new. I hadn't thought about Mr. Pink being gay, but what you said certainly makes sense. I thought it curious that he wanted to be Mr. Purple instead, as well. As far as I've always known, purple is not just a color, but can also be a symbol for homosexuality. The color has had other meanings in the past, like royalty, due to the availability of purple dyes. The meaning will continue to change as time goes on and doesn't have to be strictly one thing or another, of course, but it is still odd for him to chose purple, of all the other colors he could have chosen. Why not red? That carries some strong connotations. Or green, which is more neutral?

The precious little we know about Mr. Pink suggests that he is very concerned with his self image. His tipping speech was a lot of bluster, all this talk about going against the grain, and yet he does in fact contribute to the tip when challenged by Joe. And he explains that he's doing it just because Joe paid for the meal, even though Joe already said he'd pay for the meal. So Mr. Pink planned on tipping anyway; what was the point of that rant except to call attention to himself?

He was very happy to talk shit about Blonde with White, but when Blonde showed up, Pink practically threw himself at his feet. "And I'm fucking positive you're on the level" What bullshit! He completely changes his tune when he's around Mr. Blonde. He is very quick to kiss up to men that are or appear stronger than he is. And the way he acts when he does it, as if he's submitting by choice, suggests that he's ashamed. Thus, he is sensitive about his masculinity (which is often confused with self worth and strength, thanks to our male dominated society), and is more concerned about that than being called a "faggot." Whether he's gay or not, his primary concern is how he appears to the rest of the guys.

I don't know if you've seen it, but there are quite a lot of essays out there that talk about how RD (and Tarantino's movies in general) challenges hetero-normative standards in movies. That, combined with the White and Orange subtext would make me believe that there might be something about Mr. Pink as well. It really seems like there are a lot of clues scattered around, whether to add up to a message, or just to fuck with us. Either way, I dig it!
I always saw him backtracking to Mr Blonde more as like, Pink knew Blonde was psycho, and he was like, naw man you're cool cause he wanted to get out of that shit alive. For whatever reason it was, he kept alluding to the last thing they needed to do was start more shit with each other, esp since dealing with mr Blonde was like walking through a mine field. You'd never even know what happened before he'd be blowed you away KWIM?
In short, Mr Blonde scared the shit out of me. lol
It could be both, quite honestly. I think he's definitely more a beta than an alpha, and when Blonde showed up, he clearly changed the vibe in the room. By his presence he took control of the room and heck, why wouldn't Pink run to him? He was getting beat up by White after all.

But yes, Blonde was psycho, and Pink probably caught on to that, like right away. Even if he didn't know it immediately. Just... he knew something was wrong with the guy, didn't know what, but fuck it, he just wanted to get the deal finished. Pander to whoever he needed to pander to and get it done.
I... love this. And all this delicious info. Multiple paragraphs wiiiiin. You put into words what I kinda know, but always fail at writing out. (Hence why the Personality section of an app? It's hell! >.> )

And yes I think we're sooo on the same mind wavelength. He's definitely a weasely sort of guy. The sort who defers to whoever seems to have the power. I think the rant was his way of getting his worldview out there. Inflating his own ego, having the spotlight... but yeah, once Joe comes back, he immediately crumbles.

The suggestion that he is ashamed of kissing up to the other guys.. that's one I hadn't noticed, honestly. As mentioned below, it seems like he goes right to Blonde because a) he appeared the toughest and b) Pink was getting his ass kicked by White, something Blonde wasn't doing. So why not run to him?

I haven't read any of those essays, actually. I'm actually wondering if there's books on the subject I could get. I just can't get enough of this movie or its characters!
sorry for such a late reply! school and all...

anyway, I'm glad you agree! I hadn't really put much thought into it, although I was very interested in Pink's behavior around the other guys. I love how the characters act differently depending on whom they are around, just like a person would in real life.

Of course now I'm going to be wondering what made him like that. Clearly his weasely mannerisms have enabled him to survive many a tight situation. He was the last one alive at the very end, after all, because he was hiding! I love that.

He and White have a weird thing going. They both have known Joe for a long time, yet didn't know each other that well. They didn't know each other's names, for example. That also shows Joe's influence and connections, that he has all these guys working for him that don't ever have to meet each other.

So he doesn't necessarily have to have any loyalty to White, and it would be wise to try to ally with Blonde, but doing so after all that bold talk makes him seem manipulative and/or cowardly, which is in no way a critism of him, of course. In fact I love him more for his fascinating flaws. All the characters are fucked up in one way or another, and that's why we love them!

I'm not sure if there are any books, but I've been reading stuff I've found on here as well as the Orange/White comm.

lol I'm still pretty obsessed myself!


August 14 2011, 21:39:51 UTC 6 years ago Edited:  August 14 2011, 21:49:46 UTC

I never thought of him as gay either, but I've always seen the Orange/White thing and the Blonde/Nice Guy Eddie thing too. I love Steve, one of my fave actors. I have never thought of choosing purple meaning anything. but then again it's my husbands favorite color and he is one of those guys that if someone calls him gay or 'fag' (b/c they often do even though they know he's not) he's like, pshhh, whatever. (He writes with purple & pink pens at work idk why they act like that means someones gay.)

I kind of always thought Mr. Pink suits him cause I felt like he'd be getting all the pussy, but I'm partial to him so idk. I never got the notion that he might be gay but more like he's just kind of a neurotic guy, and he was the most professional because he didn't say anything about his personal life AT ALL whereas everyone else did. Maybe he chose purple because it's kind of next in line to pink, so maybe he thought Joe would be more apt to let him go with it since it wasn't that different? And truly, I just kind of felt he was more concerened with getting the job done without going to jail or getting killed and he didn't care much for the macho show that everyone else was putting on. Kind of like you mentioned the look, like grow the fuck up guys. I guess what I mean, is he just seemed more comfortable with himself, and it was everyone else who was making him crazy, where as the other guys seemed more concered with having the pissing contest to see who was the dominant male because of their insecurities in themselves, esp Mr Blonde who was fresh out the joint KWIM?

AW man these are good questions, and you got me thinking now! I may have to do a rewatch.
Unf. That icon. Can I steal? :D

Ahem, back to discussion. See, I can go along with what you're saying here too. That's what I love (well, one of many things) about the film: it can be interpreted different ways. I don't necessarily believe QT 100% intended Pink to come off that way, hence the 'But what if?' scenario.

Part of me agrees with the above, that he's very insecure with his image, and yet, I also agree with you, that he's probably the most professional of the group. There to do a job, get his cut, and go home. Screw the pissing contest; he knows his place.

A rewatch is always fun! On the second viewing, when I was watching him waaay too much in the diner, I noticed him lift his coffee cup and look around like 'Um, hi? Refill??' I just love his expressions.
haha yeah have at it. I love Steve so much, he does have the best facial expressions. He's such a good actor.
This comment is less about whether or not Pink is gay and more about whether or not gayness can exist in Tarantino's movies. I second looking over some essays about the subtext and non-heteronormative angles his films tend to have. Lots of academic essays out there.

Tarantino himself engages in gay subtext, enthusiastically:

Then there was his take on Top Gun 8D:

The gay subtext in Reservoir Dogs is recognizable enough that it's used to challenge ideas of masculinity in other movies, also played for laughs in this example: (the scene starts at 3:00)

Aaaaand on a fic related thing! I once read a fic that implied Pink and White's animosity towards each other was rooted in White claiming Orange as his "mark" and bullying Pink out of the competition. They were getting along so well over Pam Grier and Anne Francis too.
Noticed that too, hey! I like the ambiguity, and the flag was definitely raised when he said purple. Pink is a feminine color because (graphic description ahoy) it's the color of pussy. And Mr. Pink isn't a female, but what if he was Purple? So what, that doesn't mean he has to bend to society's stereotypes. ;)

Even in the 70s and 80s, purple upside-down triangles were the graphic for the homosexual community. Back when the pop culture of the era was just cresting out of heteronormalcy (after the headtrip that was the sixties). So it's really not a far stretch to assume.
To be very honest, I’ve always had one hyposthesis that stemmed from a dream I had: his inferiority complex stems from repeated sexual assult. In my dream it was from an older brother, but that doesn’t particularly matter. He’s always trying to stay on top of a situation, but is too physically weak to actually follow through, so he has to be a kiss-up when push comes to shove. The abuse could possibly make him very uncomfortable on the topic of sexuality. Notice how, even when talking about women (black vs. white women) he never once talks about them in any relationship sense? Just the sort of flak they’ll put up with. Then there’s the “faggot” comment. My idea is that Joe didn’t really know about the abuse, but had an idea of something going on just because he knew Pink from such a young age.
Actually, I often found myself agreeing with a lot of Mr Pink’s actions (I have had dreams before where I was him but that’s irrelevant) yet it’s not for the reasons many claim. For example: kissing up to Blonde? I never saw that. He was just thinking rationally. In his mind, an undercover cop/police informant wouldn’t murder tons of innocents, also calling attention to himself among the criminals, just to botch the job. As he said, “He’s too fucking homocidal to be working with the cops!” Yet at the same time, I even think his complaints against Blonde are just to kiss-up to White. Think about it: Pink wants to run since he’s already got the stones and there’s nowhere he can trust right now. There’s only one other guy there, why not try to get him on your side? Notice how White is the first person to use the term “professional,” and every time Pink says it, he looks right at White? He’s using White’s own words to subconsciously get White to agree with his point of view. He knows he can’t threaten or physically overpower anyone, so he pulls all the stops to make people think he’s the most rational one there and thus be on his side.

Basically, For this sake, no, I don’t think he’s gay. But I think he struggles with an inferiority complex and shies away from sex-related topics because of past abuse.