Inglorious Basterds Review

Quentin Tarantino has unveiled to the world his next work of art. He’s been working on it for ten years and it is looking good!

This layered film contains separate stories which intertwine at the end to form a harrowing conclusion. Normally I would sigh when a film has more than one story line, (Babel),  but in this case I smiled.

The movie is set in Nazi-occupied France, during World War II, and the opening scene consists of a very serious and dramatic interrogation scene, were Col. Hans Landa, (Christoph Waltz), is trying to uncovered some hidden jews on a French dairy farm. As the story progresses one of the Jews who escaped that farm during the Nazi raid ended up owning a cinema a few years later. A German war hero/actor approaches her and seems to be attracted to her. His movie is coming out titled “A Nations Pride” and he wants to change its initial location to her cinema. She meets up with Brad Pitts character, Lt. Aldo Raine. and the rest of the Basterds, (a group of Jewish-American guerilla soldiers), and decides to mess up the premiere of the movie, where all the highest ranking German officials will be attending, by blowing up the theatre, and pretty much barbecuing everyone inside. I won’t reveal any more details but the plot of this movie is brilliant, ill leave it at that.

The movie itself is not overly confusing, metaphoric, or symbolic, although it has enough of these qualities as not to make them overpowering. The cast is brilliantly selected from top to bottom featuring great performances from Daniel Bruhl as Pvt. Fredrick Zoller, Melanie Laruent (Shosanna Dreyfus), Eli Roth (Sgt. Donny Donowitz), Christoph Waltz (Col. Hans Landa), Diane Kruger (Bridget on Hammersmark), and Brad Pitt (Lt. Aldo Raine). An all-star line-up whose performance outshines their respective cinema resumes.

The storyline is on the border between intricate and simple, enabling it to capture your every intrigue.

The sound was really well done, utilizing classical scores to build tension and suspense, brining the viewer to the edge of his seat, (assuming you have a good quality sound system playing the audio). The effects in the movie where alright, but that was not the main focus of this feature film. The effects are not something you should be going to this movie looking forwards too, though. The screenplay and plot progression are easily what drive this movie. The great acting is a plus.

I was happily and unhappily surprised in this movie though. I was impressed at the shockingly amazing acting of the french dairy farmer Pierre Lapadite,(played by Denis Menochet), at the beginning of the movie. He got about twenty minutes of screen-time, in this plot building scene, mainly used to establish setting, plot context for Shosanna Dreyfus, and character background for Col. Hans Landa, but what hits you first is the extremely convincing and compelling performance on the part of Denis Menochet. What I thought the movie could have have used more of was Mike Myers role, as Gen. Ed Fenech. This may have been a good strategic move though, on the director’s part as he may have reasoned that anymore of Myers would take away from the story’s seriousness and the shock-value of the ending, (hope I haven’t divulged too much with that one).

The one thing I could legitimately say it does not have is characterization. Col. Landa and Pvt. Fredrick Zoller develop more than any other characters. This is up to the director though. Tarantino has created very complex and deep characters for us in the past. If these ones didn’t develop much, that was intended by him to fulfill whatever view the movie was supposed to fulfill, in his mind.

If you end up watching it though, I’m warning you in advance to prepare about 3x the normal ticket fare, because that is how many times you will need (and want) to see this movie, to understand absolutely everything that went on. A must-see movie overall, and definitely worth buying on DVD.