We don’t have time to get into how awesome Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is. We just don’t. There’s simply too much to take on all at once without risking some kind of sprain. We can’t do it. Alright, if you insist. But it’s safer to break it down into smaller, more manageable segments of awesome and approach each one from an appropriately cautious distance. Wallace Wells, for example, or the song “Threshold.” What about Ramona’s hammer or Lucas Lee’s stunt doubles? See what I’m saying? One at a time. Anyway, Scott Pilgrim’s genius is such that any one of these bits is ripe for individual dissection and analysis, not least of all the characters who help and hinder Scott as he battles his way through the League of Evil Exes to capture Ramona’s heart. While we could talk for hours about his epic showdowns with the likes of Gideon Graves and the Katayanagi Twins, there’s a much more critical, much more personal war being waged in the background – Knives Chau vs. Herself.
And so he dumps her. Knives takes it poorly. She overreacts. Maybe she stalks him a little; that’s up to you to decide. That Knives reacts emotionally isn’t the issue here, but rather how we interpret that reaction outside of the context of Scott himself. Because — as even the cast and creators of the film have posited — he’s essentially a textbook example of an unreliable narrator. The supporting characters in this film are way more fixated on Scott (and Scott is way more fixated on himself) than any self-respecting person would be otherwise. People like Envy and Kim (Alison Pill) seem to exist entirely as extensions of their shaggy-haired ex, and that’s largely by design. Scott is self-obsessed, immature, and short-sighted, so it stands to reason that a narrative driven by his dreams and hallucinations would occasionally reduce People Who Aren’t Him into shallow caricatures. That limitation distorts and consumes most of the people in his life, but not Knives. Knives is not about that. Knives cuts back.**
*I’m doing my best not to paraphrase the entire film, but it’s really hard.
^This isn’t as dirty as it sounds.