Inglorious Basterds (2009)
‘That’s a bingo!’
Quentin Tarantino presents yet another one of his guilty likeable gore fests with Inglorious Basterds, a movie about a group of soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), who plan to hunt and kill Nazis, known as the ‘Basterds’. This collides with the revenge plot of a young woman called Shoshanna (Melanie Laurent) whos family was killed by one of the Nazis, the manipulative and cunning Colonel Hans Landa or ‘Jew Hunter’ (Christoph Waltz), who kills her family in the uneasy opening scene.
As tense and as offensive as it might seem, it is a typical Tarantino movie. Lots of violence, gore and meaty dialogue, of which Waltz once called ‘poetry’. Despite this, Tarantino has the ability to please and shock his audience, which is why I don’t find this movie scary, but instead shocking to watch. Christoph Waltz was made famous from this film, and I was surprised that I had avoided this film even though I have been a fan of Christoph Waltz for about four years, well aware that he was in this movie. Apparently Leonardo DiCaprio was going to be Landa, but when I saw Christoph Waltz as Landa, I could not imagine anyone else playing the part.
However, although Waltz is the heart and body of the film, I think Brad Pitt was ok in it as well, and there were plenty of recognizable faces, such as Micheal Fassbender, B.J Novak from Saving Mr Banks, Eli Roth (who is known to also direct a bit of horror and who I personally think looks like a beast), Diane Krueger and Melanie Laurent (Both of the women are very glamorous and do not take revenge lightly) . Tarantino makes good use of his popular cast so that it is not one of the films with no plot or development but with household names, and he allows the female charecters to be strong, kick ass people who are just as good as the men with taking down Nazi Germany.
The film did make me feel incredibly queasy from all the weapons and extent of the punishments e.g scalping and it sometimes made me want to throw up from the limits that Tarantino can take to produce what is mostly stretching the truth in his own little world. The cinematography is very good, using a wide range of colours and scene structure e.g fairly tame but intimidating long opening scene then a blood and gore fest for the rest of it, as well as the good soundtrack but all of the scenes were rather long and it didn’t help that I didn’t know what was going to happen next knowing that someone might get their head blown off within the next two minutes. I liked how he lay it out in alternating ‘chapters’ instead of boring his viewers senseless with stringy diologue.
Overall, good cast, soundtrack and although it was mostly in either German or French, I found that it was a good film but not the sort that you can sit down and watch and it made me feel sick sometimes but it was a good film to start on for the launch of Christoph Waltz’s late successful career in American cinema. I can also see why some people don’t really like the movie.