Saturday, 26 September 2020
Inglourious Basterds
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 13:59
inglouriousbasterdsposterForget all the hype. Forget that this is the latest Tarantino film. Forget that it stars Hollywood’s most marketable man, Brad Pitt. Forget all that and what do you end up with? A bloody brilliant film – that’s what. Inglourious Basterds is a triumphant and ingenious piece of entertainment directed by the guru of worshipping film-school freshmen himself, Quentin Tarantino.

Let me start by saying that if you love Tarantino’s other films you will of course love this. Face it fans, he could pretty much put his label on any piece of crap film and it would become an instant cult classic. But here’s the kicker – I think this is one of his most accessible films, and one of his best films ever.

Inglourious Basterds is set during the 1940’s in German occupied France. The “Basterds” in question are a team of special ops Jewish-American soldiers assembled for one task and one task only: to torture, kill as many Nazi soldiers as possible or die trying. Their fearless leader is an unlikely Tennessee gentleman named Aldo Raine (played with a wonderfully over-the-top accent by Brad Pitt). He’s known as “The Apache” because of his penchant for scalping victims.

inglouriousbasterdspic1The rest of the cast is a mélange of incredible foreign actors, most of whom would be unrecognizable to American audiences. All of the performances are brilliant, but the most notable and memorable in the entire film goes to Austrian born Christoph Walz who plays Col. Hans Landa, a German SS officer known in France as “Jew Hunter”. He is the perfect villain; charming and playful but unabashedly ruthless like a cat with a mouse.

Quentin Tarantino knows how to do “cool films” like no one else – and trust me, enough people have tried to emulate his style (badly) to make it apparent that he’s a rare breed. That doesn’t mean his films are always perfect, but you can be sure they will have killer soundtracks and memorable characters. Inglourious Basterds has both. It is also sharply written, gloriously filmed and at times damn funny. A very imaginative piece of writing.

inglouriousbasterdspic2The movie is told in parts, or chapters and each segment could work quite well as a short film on its own. The opening scene is intense, and I could have walked out of the theatre quite happy after only the first 15 minutes. Since the film is over 2.5 hours long, needless to say I stuck around and was glued to the screen the whole time. There aren’t very many films of this length that I don’t feel could have used editing, but in this case there is really very little I can imagine chopping. It doesn’t feel long and is never dull.

To finish up, this is easily in my Tarantino Top 3. Inglourious Basterds is definitely a fresh and exciting film from a writer and director who obviously still has passion for what his work. Well worth seeing.