Jackie Brown, more so than any other of Tarantino's films, has a certain workmanlike quality to its visuals and yet also feels imbued with a stylish swagger. Thanks to cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, this obviously reflects the character at the heart of Jackie Brown - regular, but projecting an everyday class. The film is full of bold uses of colour amongst drab surroundings right from the very get go as Pam Grier's title character emerges on an airport conveyerbelt against a wall of various hues of blues, greens, and browns as the bright electric blue uniform pops. Blue and brown, it would seem, are recurring colours in the film. From the Ordell Robbie's blue flat cap and pants ensemble, the blue hum of a Los Angeles apartment complex, to the drab beige and brown walls of Max Cherry's bail bonds office, and the coffee-coloured textures of Grier and Jackson themselves. Jackie's blue stewardess uniform is surely as vivid a costume as The Bride's yellow motorcycle suit and that fabulous opening tracking shot is a beautiful inroads into this previously unknown character as she weaves her way through an airport lounge. At first calm and a picture of royal beauty, she becomes flushed and frenzied as the serene colours of her backdrop begin to blur into one another and give way to the hustle and bustle of the world around her/us.
This particular long take is my favourite "shot" of the movie, but the one spot I chose to screencap is, I think, so representative of the film as a whole. Pam Grier's face, etched in desperate verve, front and centre and the world whizzing by around her. She's just trying to make her way through the world "doing whatever [she] has to do to survive" (to quote the Bobby Womack song from the opening credits). The end of Jackie Brown is ambiguous if you choose to think of it that way. She sails off into the sunset and is happily ever after, or Jackie just continues to struggle as she attempts to be as classy as she can be even if the world around her is in chaos.