Greetings and salutations.
We have three more films left in the director series “Tuesdays with Tarantino” and today we look at my second favourite Tarantino film (after Pulp Fiction of course) the 2009 alternate reality American-German war film Inglourious Basterds. The film raked in more $321 million and is the director’s second highest grossing film to date after Django Unchained. It was also a critical smash earning a whopping eight Academy award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay; it only took home Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.
As usual a SPOILER ALERT is in effect. Let’s get to it. Here’s my review in four easy to chew slices:
#1 Masterful performances
From start to very bloody finish this movie gripped me. The opening scene with Waltz (SS colonel Hans Landa) interrogating a French diary farmer is astounding. Every line he says is like a razor being lowered closer and closer to your throat. Waltz’s merciless and somewhat charming Landa is fantastic throughout the movie and his performance definitely deserved all the awards and accolades.
Brad Pitt and Eli Roth are both cool as Nazi hunter and scalping afficionado Aldo Raine and Staff Sergeant Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz respectively, and Michael Fassbender is in top form as a British army lieutenant posing as a German, but they are both out shined by the female lead, French actress Mélanie Laurent.
Her Shosanna Dreyfus/ Emmanuelle Mimieux is cold, calculating and consumed by vengeance and it is a thrill to watch her in every scene. An honourable mention as well to Diane Kruger as ill fated actress Bridget von Hammersmark.
#2 Riveting scenes
After the less than memorable Death Proof we can definitely see a return to form for Tarantino with Inglourious Basterds. I already the mentioned the riveting opening scene but we also have the Basterds killing the Nazis in the forest, the edge of your seat tavern scene and the explosive and very bloody final act. There is just so much to love here from the maverick writer/director.
#3 Mesmerising dialogue
One of my favourite aspects of Tarantino’s films is the dialogue and in Inglourious Basterds it is ripping. It is like poetry to the ears though with an edge that at any point somebody could be brutally murdered.
Even in the quieter scenes where someone is not being beaten to death with a bat, scalped, shot or strangled the dialogue alone will keep you fixed to your seat, slurping up every last drop.
#4 Brutal action
You know there was going to be blood and buckets of it right? And it’s Nazis. Who doesn’t love seeing Nazis get wasted? And in Tarantino’s alternate reality we get to see Hitler and Joseph Goebbles, the Reich Minister of Propaganda, brutally shot until their faces look like smashed cheesecake. Tarantino’s movies do not have an abundance of violence but the brief times that it does happen it definitely makes up for lost time with loads of gore and shock value. And this trait can also be found in Inglourious Basterds.
In conclusion the film is suspenseful, atmospheric, wonderfully acted and features a terrific script. It is a near perfect war espionage film which is infinitely rewatchable.
Rating: Inglourious Basterds gets 3.75/4 Nazi scalps.
So are you fan of Inglourious Basterds? What’s your favourite scene? Feel free to comment below.
For Pt 5 of Tuesdays with Tarantino and the film Death Proof you can click here and for Pt 7 and Django Unchained you can click here.