Film review: Inglourious Basterds (2009), directed by Quentin Tarantino
Second night of the rented films, and the movie which I was interested in watching. Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. It’s a Tarantino film, so logically, it’s pretty graphically gruesome in places.
The Basterds are a group of Jewish-American soldiers who are dropped into Nazi occupied France to “kill Nazis”. Their lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt in a broad Southern accent) is inspired by the Apaches, and tells his men to scalp the Nazis they kill – and they all owe him 100 scalps. Those that aren’t killed and scalped get something to remember them by – a swastika carved into their foreheads. Yum.
The movie follows the Basterds who are doing their best to collect scalps and thereby annoying the Führer. It also follows German superstar actress and ally double-agent Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), and a woman (Mélanie Laurent) who poses as cinema owner Emanuelle Mimieux … when she is in fact Shosanna Dreyfus, the daughter of a Jewish dairy farmer. Her family were hiding under the floorboards in a neighbour’s house when they were detected by the creepy “Jewhunter” Nazi colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), and brutally slaughtered. Shosanna managed to get away, and now she’s plotting revenge – revenge that gets a breakthrough when private Fredrick Zoller (Daniel Brühl) decides to take a shine to her and her cinema.
Inglorious Basterds doesn’t claim to be historically accurate by any means. They’ve taken the World War 2 setting, Nazis occupying France and then gone and made up the rest. The ending was definitely the as historically incorrect as you can get, and it makes you wonder “what if?” The funniest part of the movie was when they had decided to pose as Italians, as that’s the only other language any of them had any knowledge of (certainly not German!). Then Bridget introduces Aldo as an Italian stunt man, and he simply says “buon giorno” in THE broadest American accent you could EVER imagine. That had us in stitches!
Daniel Brühl carries off a uniform very well, it has to be said. He also broods rather expertly, which can be seen in a scene from the movie Nation’s Pride, which can be found in the extras on the Blu-ray disc. The brooding look just goes on for just a little too long.
I really enjoyed the performances of everyone, but I’ll only point out a few: Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna and Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa. Landa really did make your skin crawl in the most unpleasant of ways. “I wish I had a daughter so I could forbid her to marry one!” Just everything he said, every gesture … creepy! Mike Myers made a brief appearance as a British general, and it took a while before I realised it was actually him, as the make-up department had disguised him quite well.
Michael Fassbender put on a splendid super-English accent. I found it quite funny how his character was said to have a funny accent, considering the guy’s actually half German and speaks the language fluently.
It’s a good film, Tarantino fans won’t be disappointed, and for people who aren’t necessarily fans of Tarantino but like a good film, they shouldn’t be disappointed either. They’re killin’ Nazis and killin’ ’em good and proper, and you’re well entertained along the way. “Down with Hitler!”
5 out of 5 cinemas.