Inglourious Basterds is the latest movie by the genius director that we all know and love Quentin Tarantino(Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill) starring Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, and Christoph Waltz. The film is set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II and is completely fictional and not based on true events.
Inglourious Basterds, like most films by Tarantino, is a film with many different sub-story lines that in the end all come together to make one big ending. The main thing people know about the film based on the trailers is that it’s about a group of American soldiers, known as “The Basterds,” that are dropped into Nazi-occupied France. The leader of this group of soldiers is Lt. Aldo Raine(Pitt) and he instructs each one of his soldiers to bring him the scalps of 100 Nazi’s. While this is going on Colonel Hans Landa(Christoph Waltz) has been ordered to hunt all Jews that are living in France and kill them, giving him the nickname “Jew Hunter.” The first family it shows him searching for he kills all but a young girl, Shoshanna(Melanie Laurent) who was able to escape. Four years later you see her in Paris and has taken up the identity Emmanuelle Mimieux, a young cinema owner. Her cinema is chosen to hold the premiere of a film based on the exploits of a young Nazi soldier. Realizing that so many high ranking German officials are going to be in attendance at the premiere she decides to burn down her cinema. All the while, “The Basterds” are also planning on blowing up the cinema. There are many different things going on in the film that keep you guessing and watching until the very end, an ending that is brilliant. But you’ll have to watch to find out more.
One of the main highlights for me about this film is that it’s directed by Quentin Tarantino. I’ve always been a huge fan of his and I love all of his films. The thing I love most about his films is his dialogue and his ability to develop characters and make you “fall in love” with those characters. With this film it’s no different, the way he develops characters is just amazing to me. There isn’t a filmmaker that can develop a character the way he does. It doesn’t matter if the character was in the film d minutes or for the entire 153 minute run time, I had some sort of feeling towards the character. Just like with all Tarantino films you come to expect a lot of dialogue. There are scenes that have absolutely nothing going on except conversations between characters, but the dialogue is so witty and so intriguinging that you don’t even notice it. You are constantly wondering what is going to happen next or what they are going to say next. Tarantino proves yet again that he is a master and complete genius when it comes to the art of filmmaking. Another thing I want to make a quick comment on is the amazing use of music in the film. It just amazes me how much a song during a particular scene can pull you into a scene as much as this film did for me. It added so much more anticipation or remorse during a particular scene.
Another thing that a Tarantino film usually consists of is top notch acting delivered by elite actors and by other virtually unknown actors delivering surprising performances. Inglourious Basterds continues that trend. Being a Tarantino fan I always try to think of actors that I would love to see star in a Tarantino film. Brad Pitt has always been one of my favorite actors and an actor I thought would be great in a Tarantino directed film. I say directed because Pitt had a small role in a film that Tarantino wrote, True Romance. But it wasn’t a lead role. With this film I got my wish and man did Pitt surpass all of those expectations. Pitt has had a lot of different roles and he has played all of those roles brilliantly and it’s always nice to see him do something a little different. Pitt had it all in this film, he was the comedy relief, he was the aggressive no holds barred dirty and mean, he was everything you would expect Brad Pitt to be and more. I won’t go as far to say that this is Pitt’s best role, but it is right up there. All of the actors in this film did really good jobs, there wasn’t a performance that I thought was out of place or bad. Eli Roth was a huge surprise for me. I know the guy can direct a movie but I didn’t realize he could be such a good actor too. You can go down the list of all the actors in the film and talk about how great they were. I loved the Samuel L. Jackson and Harvey Keitel cameos in the film. But, nothing even came close to the performance delivered by Christoph Waltz. He completely overshadowed every one of the other performances. The other actors did great so you know that Waltz had to have been pretty dang amazing for him to overshadow all the rest. He also was a lot of comic relief and his whole demeanor and everything was perfect. Nothing that he ever did seemed forced or hard to believe. Whether he was trying to be the sympathetic and caring guy or the mean and aggressive “Jew hunter” he was perfect. I think he is a lock for at least an Oscar nomination and possibly even winning. He already won Best Actor at Cannes Film Festival. It’ll be interesting to see what else he gets for this amazing and completely surprising performance.
If after reading the first three quarters of this review you don’t realize how much I just absolutely loved this film I don’t know what else I could say to make you realize. The film could be hard to watch at times due to the graphic nature of the film. There is a lot of blood and amazing detail in a lot of the violence in the film. The film also had a lot of comedic precense. I found myself to be laughing out loud a few different times in the theater, even if I was the only one laughing. Nobody has a sense of humor anymore. The film consists of top notch acting, top notch directing, and top notch dialogue. Quentin Tarantino proves yet again how much of a genius he is and I am finding little doubt that he will ever not show that brilliance. For the most part I think you have to be a Tarantino fan to enjoy this film because it is still Tarantino. He’s one of those directors that you either love or you hate. But, I also think a lot of others could enjoy it. It does have a lot of the blood and violence that the trailer portrays it to have. I think people still need to have an open mind and realize that Tarantino has his little things that he does. But for me it was everything I love about Tarantino films and this is Tarantino’s fanboy film, his “spaghetti western” just set during World War II. Watch and enjoy yet another brilliant film given to us by Mr. Quentin Tarantino himself.