What was inside the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?
The question has perplexed even the most devout of movie-holics ever since the cult film hit the screens in 1994. An amalgamation of violence, sex, drugs and pop culture banter, Pulp Fiction was a work of total genius by Quentin Tarantino. The plot revolves around Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in a quest to recover the briefcase for their boss Marsellus Wallace. But what could’ve possibly been inside that coveted briefcase that was never revealed to us? Here is a list of possibilities:
Marsellus Wallace’s soul!
The theory that has been doing the rounds for the past two decades! The briefcase contains the soul of Marsellus Wallace, who has sold it to Satan and is desperately trying to win it back! As absurd as absurd gets, esoteric knowledge states that the Devil always takes the soul from the back of the neck; which was testified by the Band-Aid on the back of Wallace’s neck! Remember the combination to opening the briefcase? The number of the devil: 666!
An Oscar for Marsellus’s wife
Could it be an Oscar statuette for Marsellus’ wannabe actress wife? Some have joked that this mocked Tarantino’s chances at the Academy awards, though he did bag one for the Best Screenplay. Perhaps, this was symbolic?
A small nuke?
Tarantino could be paying tribute to Robert Aldrich’s noir film Kiss Me Deadly in which a private eye searches for a glowing case carrying radioactive material. This is one theory that could plausibly hold true, because even Tarantino seemed to like the idea!
Elvis’ golden suit
The golden suit that Elvis Presley had but seldom wore; could that be in the briefcase? We all know Tarantino’s penchant for adding spicy condiments to story lines by making references to popular culture. Could this coveted lamé suit from True Romance have fascinated Wallace’s wife, a regular at the ’50s themed Jack Rabbit Slim’s? More cues: the accidental administration of heroin! Connect the dots and you’d have your answer.
The Holy Grail
Did the briefcase hold the symbol of divine grace, borrowed from the Indiana Jones franchise? Anyone who beholds the Grail is set to be dumbstruck, which is exactly what was elicited when Vincent Vega saw the contents of the briefcase.
For the patrons of Alfred Hitchcock’s storytelling brilliance, a macguffin is nothing but something to get the story moving or a “plot device”. So perhaps the briefcase didn’t contain anything spectacular and the “macguffin” was just to sustain the interest of the viewers.