Thursday, 27 August 2009

Film review: Inglourious Basterds

The second of the Orange Wednesday films I saw yesterday was Quentin Tarantino's new film, set in 1940s France starring Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Aldo Raine, the lead Basterd (pictured). Compared to the film I saw in the afternoon, no offence to it remembering they were made for different purposes, this was excellent! I'm a big fan of Tarantino's films (the Kill Bill films are some of my all-time favourites); I love the scores, the subtle yet obvious humour, the fight scenes and the references throughout. Although I didn't get what I expected in Inglourious Basterds, I wasn't disappointed.

As usual in Tarantino films, there are a few plotlines going on at once: the Story of SS General Landa (the Jew Hunter) having one Jew escape to become a successful cinema owner in Paris and The Basterds, American Jews who go through the Nazi occupied countries ambushing patrols and collecting scalps (literal scalps) of Nazi soldiers. Unusual to a lot of Tarantino films, the two are in chronological order and eventually combine to make the finale of the film. And what a finale! I won't spoil it for you because I really to implore you to go and see it, but it ends with a double attack on high ranking Nazis in a cinema and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Similar to the beginning, set in a French dairy farm where the Jew Hunter is searching for Jews; one of the most intense and emotional openings to a film I've seen.

The depiction of the leaders and high ranking officers of the Nazi party, and indeed the cameo appearance of Winston Churchill himself, are exaggerated much I think (one of the funniest parts is Goebbels enjoying a moment with his translator!) which is very enjoyable but also interesting to think this actual was how they were thinking. My favourite character I think could well be the charming yet terrifying Colonel Hans Landa aka. The Jew Hunter (Christoph Waltz, pictured); his flowing through French, Italian, German and English was very enjoyable and although he was indeed evil, a very intelligent character who always kept me guessing. His Best Actor Award at the Cannes festival was well deserved I think.

Melanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus (the escaped, Jewish cinema owner) was also a favourite character. She was sexy, intelligent and exciting as she went on revenge against the Nazis for their previous acts...whilst looking beautiful and full of attitude, she has reignited my love for the French language. Her relationship with the famous Private Zoller was very humourous as she tried to fend him off without giving away that she hated him because of his Naziism, especially at the end as she asks him to lock the door...! The whole film was quite funny, it got a lot of laughs at the cinema, especially the Basterds scenes, inevitably with Brad Pitt's overly thick Tennessee accent and his cronies taking their scalps as they went along. The funniest section, maybe, being when three of them attempt to be Italian to a high ranking Nazi who is fluent in Italian (here is some sort of illegal video I've found of it which apparently is a spoiler, so beware)! It's not technically a comedy film but it is as humourous as any Tarantino films inevitably are and will keep you entertained for sure.

With a love of Quentin Tarantino and also war films, especially WW2 films, I absolutely loved this. It has lovely photography, great script, very good continuity (very important for a perfectionist OCD like me!), historical context, comedy, action, suspense, explosions, pretty much all you could want. Everyone, please go and see this film, at least give it a go (it may well be a love or hate film...) or if not, I will be buying the DVD so come round and watch it in a few months time!

Inglourious Basterds = 9/10