Howdy ladies and gents, today I come to you with an unexpected film review. So last night I had film session with my mum, sister and cousin and the film I decided to watch was Inglourious Basterds, a great film I hadn’t seen for a while and after the film ended I just felt the need to talk about it on this blog. 🙂
So the story for this film can be described as the following:
“In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same.”
I love this story. What makes it so compelling is the real world setting, most educated people know the history of WWII, so to see this unique story unfold and change what we know is very interesting and hilarious. As a war film the structure, pacing and style is so unique and unconventional and that’s thanks to Quentin Tarantino, the man is so good at using his talents for storytelling and crafting such smart and sophisticated dialogue. The key features that make the film work for me is the tension, drama and humour. This film makes me feel uncomfortable, so many of the scenes just involve people in conversations that can be calm and civil, but then can switch to being aggressive, intense and awkward as hell. They are situations you wouldn’t want to find yourself in and they are executed wonderfully. In addition to the emotional material, the film’s incredibly funny with some awesome one-liners, witty conversations and humourous moments that are unforgettable. I will note that the plot can be a little hard to follow when the subtitles come into play and if you can’t read them quickly like myself, but if you can get around that then you’ll be fine.
And then there’s the cast who all around do fabulous jobs in their roles. Before I get into this film, it troubles me that I forget that people like Michael Fassbender and Daniel Brühl were in these films long before they became better known in X-Men: First Class and Rush respectively. Let’s start with Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Aldo “The Apache” Raine. Aldo is confident, cocky driven and hilarious individual on a mission to take out his enemies and do it with style. Pitt killed it in this role, before this film I didn’t care for Pitt as an actor at all, but here he was incredible. The man was super charismatic, engaging, funny and the ascent alone was just the best thing ever. However, Christoph Waltz as SD Standartenführer Hans Landa steals the film. Landa, what a man, he is a guy who is charming, warm and multilingual, yet he’s extremely cunning, smart and terrifying and he can turn on a dime. Waltz is magnetic, he steals every scene he’s in and he’s really funny but also quite monstrous at the same time. Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus is another strong performance. Shosanna has such a traumatic experience and because of it she becomes hardened, cold and crafty, and I really liked Laurent’s performance as she’s strong, fragile and ambitious.
Michael Fassbender as Lieutenant Archie Hicox is bloody great, here Fassbender is demonstrates his talents in humour, wit and aggression. Hicox is a smart and talented individual and has some really memorable moments. Daniel Brühl is also great as Private First Class Fredrick Zoller, this character has an interesting backstory and seems like a nice guy who doesn’t just want to be associated with his war exploits, and when he attempts to engage with Shosanna you can’t help but feel for him a little, and Brühl acts with such heart, humour and charm. Eli Roth is another person I love as Sergeant Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz, like Aldo, this character had a charm, sense of humour and screen presence that made him fun and memorable and this is the film that makes me want to see more of Roth as an actor more so than a director because he was quite good here. Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark is very nice, she’s very pretty and nice, but also has a great deal more to her character beyond her acting career, also August Diehl is awesome as Major Dieter Hellstrom, this guy is one of those characters who comes out of nowhere and has one of those performances that is striking, intimidating and funny. Til Schweiger as Sergeant Hugo Stiglitz did say much but left a big impression, B. J. Novak and Omar Doom were good as Private First Class Smithson “The Little Man” Utivich and Private First Class Omar Ulmer, Mike Myers’ appearance as General Ed Fenech was nice, Martin Wuttke did a good job as Adolf Hitler and even Léa Seydoux, another person I forgot was nice to see Charlotte LaPadite.
When it comes to the presentation this film succeeds on many levels. Firstly the film looks lovely with the cinematography, editing and nice interior and exterior locations. Also the costume design and make-up is really good as well. In additional to that the action is awesome, there are some well-choreographed scenes with guns, knives and baseball bats that are full of violence, blood and chaos, and it is a gorgeous spectacle. Also the soundtrack is perfect, as usual Tarantino has assembled a collection of music that doesn’t fit the time period, but has the right emotional and dramatic sounds to match the action on-screen. A lot of it sounds like it belongs in those old western films and love it, but what surprised me was the use of a David Bowie song, I love Bowie’s music and I’m surprised I’ve missed it that last few times I’ve seen in this film.
In conclusion Inglourious Basterds is one damn good film, thanks to a great story, a great deal of tension, action and suspense, and stellar performances from the cast involved. This is easily my favourite film in the war genre and one of my all-time favourite films as well, it has all of those beautiful elements that make a Tarantino film worth watching, but it is the unique setting, script and characters that make it special. This is a film I highly recommend.
So have you seen Inglourious Basterds and if so what do you think of it? And how do you feel it compares to Tarantino’s other films (personally this is my favourite), whatever your thoughts are, drop them below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀