Sunday, April 22, 2012

Movie Review - Inglourious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

When this film was released, it was marketed as Tarantino's version of a gory Dirty Dozen-esque romp through WW2 occupied France.

Instead, it's actually something quite different and refreshingly so. Divided into several parts, it centres around the fictional story of a group of jewish US soldiers dropped behind enemy lines – tasked with the job of striking fear into the heart of Nazi Germany through barbaric slaying and scalping of Hitler's soldiers.

While it could have been a very predictable Saving Private Ryan-esque drama (with the group making their way from one place to another with action set pieces along the way), it actually tells the story from different perspectives and at different times within the story. Tarantino is of course fond of this approach, with Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill being prime examples.

Without giving away too much, Tarantino's love of and obsession with film comes to the fore in this film and confirms that this dude really does know what he's talking about. Playfully subverting historical truths for the sake of stroytelling, the film manages to do it in such a way that this is easily forgiven.

Even though violent and bloody in places, I didn't find it any worse than films of a similar rating. What stands out, however, is Tarantino's faultless dialogue and the masterful building of tension within each scene. I truly admire Tarantino for the way he is able to take a seemingly ordinary, mundane conversation and make it come alive, putting you on the edge of your seat.

Finally, I'd like to specifically mention Christoph Waltz, who plays the 'jew hunter' Nazi and blatantly steals the show. His performance of the matter-of-fact-yet-cunning Gestapo officer is mesmerising and effortlessly outshadows the rest of the cast (who are still brilliant).

So, Tarantino has pulled off a WW2 movie and it makes me wonder what's next.

You know, I'd love to see him take on Jane Austen....  

Verdict: 9 out of 10

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