INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, Quentin Tarantino 2009


After months of promo, trailers and delays  for release date,  we finally got Inglorious Basterds in our cinemas, and after watching it two times I reckon the reward for the wait was worth it.

After so many negative critics received for Death Proof, and clues given as Inglorious Basterds action was set during II WW during Nazi occupation, everybody thought we were about to watch Kelly’s Heroes revisited from a more bloody and violent perspective. Nevertheless the result has been totally different, being again criticized by fans, critics and detractors for not being violent and bloody enough, this is, for not being a Tarantino movie.

Well, such  expectations of recovering Tarantino essence from the first movies are a bit of nonsense. He’s evolved as everybody does, focusing more in situations created by dialogues rather than blood baths or crazy dynamic stories such as in Pulp Fiction.

In Nazi occupied France two different stories with Jews in common happen in Paris at the same time.

First story tells about how  the young Shosanna Dreyfuss (Mélanie Laurent) escapes from the Jew Hunter, SS Colonel  Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), after her family is massacred when trying to hide from Nazis in a neighbor farm owned by Monsieur Pierre LaPadite (Denis Menochet).

Best interrogation ever

Best interrogation ever

Four years after, in Paris and with the  false identity of Emmanuelle Mimieux, Shosanna, who owns a modest cinema, is being courted  insistently by a young German soldier, Fredrik Zoller (Daniel Brühl), who has developed such a crush on her up to a point, he convinces Joseph Goebbels to celebrate premiere of the movie A Nation’s Pride in which, not only he’s the principal star but also narrates his brave experience in war against 300 allies soldiers  for which  he’s become national hero. Thus, Shosanna, realizing that the cinema will be plenty of SS outstanding personalities decides to plan a strategy to avenge her family.

This guy is a pain in the ass!

This guy is a pain in the ass!

Second story is about the Inglorious Basterds, a special command formed by Jew American soldiers and led by Lieutenant Aldo the Apache Raine (Brad Pitt), whose main target is simple, to kill Nazis and cut as many Nazi scalps as possible, at least one hundred.

 As the word of the premiere of A Nation’s Pride reaches the Allies,  considering  the possibility of attempting against the most relevant and powerful figures of the III Reich, British Lieutenant Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender) with the support if the Basterds is sent to Paris to join a German double agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), who se condition of  established  and popular actress provides direct access to the premiere, to carry out the dangerous mission which could become  the master strike to end war once and for all.

Both stories converge at the cinema premiere  with shocking results.

For several reasons the movie has received many negative comments…again. On one hand by the extensive scenes with endless dialogues in German or French, the lack of blood and action on the other, and the impossible end that laughs at the II WW history.

No doubt Tarantino loves focusing on dialogues, and he’s an specialist in extending them beyond the limit to conclude them with a sudden effect strike, but this is nothing new at all, since his earliest works he blindly relies on rich dialogues, containing a full dose of psychology in every word,  enabling audience to portrait the characters and build their opinions around them. And also he’s a master on deciding when to finish them with a sudden blow to shock you.

Reckoning the dialogue as the director’s trademark since the very beginning, it is true that since Kill Bill vol. II, Tarantino is highlighting dialogues more than ever.

In my opinion there are three scenes in particular deserving being praised: the very first one with Hans Landa enquiring Monsieur LaPadite about the missing Jew family Dreyfuss , changing from  French to English; second with Landa asking Emmanuelle Mimieux about the cinema features for security reasons at a restaurant, having a strudel; and the last one at the subterranean tavern with German soldiers, von Hammersmark, few Basterds and the SS  official…really cool. The three scenes are long, and based on dialogues, prevailing German and French over English, something that much audience accustomed to English or overdubbed films have failed to taste.

Guess who you are

Guess who you are

The cast of characters is very impressive however don’t think Brad Pitt should be placed as the main character, no doubt his name is very attractive to audience, but Cristoph Waltz playing the role of Hans Landa being the link between the two stories, cannot be considered less than impressive.

Regarding the end of the movie, well, from the very beginning everybody knows that is fiction taking historic events and places as settings, thus, why not playing a bit with the Nazis’ fates even though we know  what really happened?  To tell the truth for me it’s more interesting  what happens to Landa, rather than to people at the cinema.

Does  Tarantino deserve to be criticized for distorting  history for his own  convenience? Maybe, but I don’t think he’s been the first and surely won’t be the last one in handling history for their own purposes, but when dealing with Hitler and III Reich, seems that nobody is allowed to joke about it.

2 Responses to “INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, Quentin Tarantino 2009”

  1. Arantza Garcia Says:

    I have to say I loved the film, for me it was like the first time I saw Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill vol.1! I had the same funny feeling in my stomach telling me it was something different from any other of QT’s films. I loved Pitt’s accent and, obviously, I think Christoph Waltz is a bloody genius! The way he speaks French, English and Italian with no problem whatsoever!!! I do agree with you that BP should not be considered such a main character. Not only is Waltz impressive but more complete and versatile in his performance.

    Keep’em comin’, chick!! Love your reviews!

  2. toirock Says:

    Cristoph Waltz has just won the Oscar for supporting actor for his role as Hans Landa. Congratulations!

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