Inglourious Basterds: Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino’s latest masterpiece in “Inglourious Basterds” takes the war-movie-aficionado deep into the epoch of World War II. Inglourious Basterds has arguably been the best movie for Tarantino since Pulp Fiction. The audacity in the way Brad Pitt scalps the Nazis is by far the best ingredient of the movie. Quentin Tarantino has had a cozy comfort zone in his career ever since and contrastingly in Inglourious Basterds, he has attempted to deliver something totally new. The title is an homage to the 1978 feature ‘Inglorious Bastards’, but this one is not a remake of the same. The verdict on the movie would undoubtedly be based upon one’s view of this man’s work and this movie can be labeled as a typical Tarantino feature and hence open to argument.

The plot of the movie traces two stories in parallel and brings them together at the end. The first chapter revolves around Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent), a French Jew and SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), better known as the ‘Jew Hunter’. Christoph Waltz has excelled in his role as an intelligent sleuth as he deduces and later on kills the fugitives (jews) at a farm-house. The only survivor being Shosanna Dreyfus, who runs for life and escapes to Paris and settles down to run a movie theater under a false identity. The other story involves protagonist Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine and his group of notorious ‘Basterds’. They have seeped into Nazi occupied France, behind enemy lines and are wreaking havoc with an aim of killing Nazis.

The plot thickens when it is known that all Nazis would assemble at a small theater in Paris for a première of some highly acclaimed German film. With this in mind, Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), has been sent by the British High command with a plan. The Basterds look to blow up the theater and kill as many Nazis possible including Hitler who according to latest intelligence reports is to be present there. Of course, this small theater in the middle of Paris is the one owned by Shosanna. The Basterds get in touch with Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), a German actress and an allied double agent for their mission.

Tarantino has shown his love for strong and acrid dialogues in his movies and he minces them well in his murder scenes. Tarantino has tried to depict the blood side of war and this movie is not an attempt to show sacrifice or nobility in war unlike Schindler’s List. The humor amidst violence in the movie is at its best and the sarcasm and satire that overflows in many a dialogue are sumptuous. As is his wont, Tarantino has employed one high-profile actor in this movie too, with Brad Pitt donning the hat this time. The movie keeps the viewer involved and leads one to a nail-biting climax. Twists and turns just before the climax are highly unexpected and the climax has the ‘Tarantino Effect’ written all over with the short, crisp and strong dialogues towards the end. The last one in the movie definitely brings home the bacon: “I think, this just might be my masterpiece.”

Christoph Waltz has won at Cannes for his flawless performance in the movie and the movie has a couple of nominations at the Golden Globe too. Inglourious Basterds might not be fresh and new like what Pulp Fiction was, but it is nevertheless rated as one of Tarantino’s masterworks. The movie is well coerced with gripping scenes, a couple of outstanding performances and a blatantly portrayed episode in war.With a Nazi occupied France backdrop, if you think you know how it all ends, oops, go and check it out.

Pradeep Sekhar

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