So we have yet another bold and quixotic film thrown into our frozen laps by the indefatigable Quentin Tarantino. Does he never get tired of infusing his works with all that LIFE?
Inglourious Basterds is very remotely inspired from the World War II classic The Inglorious Bastards. It’s wartime in 1941… and whoa, we witness an express chain of events involving zee heartless and insensitive Germans (of course), a lone vengeful Jewish heroine (hey, it’s a movie) and American knights in armour swaggering and staggering under the weight of their bravado.
The first thing that strikes you about the film is its utter lack of morals. There is no good vs. evil, no retribution or remorse, not a trace of melancholy. The Nazis are victims, and the Jews are – well, Nazis. This is an unabashed Tarantino offering that boasts of nothing but a slick storyline, fine acting and neat technique. Clearly, the man wants to show us another cult film, not a war epic or Holocaust mourn fest. To all those who would have liked a more human angle – I’m sure it’s nothing personal.
Brad Pitt proves for the nth time that he’s not just a looker, and wins everybody’s trust and liking with the much-publicised ‘’I want my scalps’’ speech. The versatile actor carries off a colourful ‘’hick’’ accent with such panache, you’d think the authentic Tennessee fellas would be put to shame. His language is an entity by itself and deserves an Academy award with or without its owner – remember Gorlomi and his Italian drawl?
Pitt plays Lt. Aldo Raine, leader of the Inglourious Basterds, a outlawish outfit that actually consists of bushwackin’ guerrilla American SS soldiers, as he eloquently puts it. Their mission? To strike fear into the lives and minds of Nazis. By hook or by crook, be military ambushes or elaborate theatre bombs, they get it done. Looks like G.I. Joe’s back in the raging forties – Go Joe! You’re so swept away by the merry men that you forget they’re no better than cold-blooded terrorists. In fact, Tarantino fans will chuckle appreciatively at the scene where Pitt casually orders one of his command to club a man to death. An incident that would make you sick if you read about it in the papers – such is the inexplicable charisma of Tarantino‘s film making. He’s the ultimate puppet master – making you clap and cheer when you never imagined you would.
Having said that, it’s a pity that the dashing bunch of disturbingly ruthless boys gets such little screen time – maybe the director would like to rename the film ‘’Also Includes the Basterds’’?