Saturday, October 03, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Rating : 8/10
Release Date : 2nd Oct, 2009 (India)
Time : 153 minutes
Director & Writer : Quentin Tarantino; Music Supervisor : Mary Ramos
Starring : Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, Til Schweiger, Daniel Bruhl, Jacky Ido, Dennis Menochet

What demented, kinky and perverted mind comes up with a story like this ? Pure genius ! Who else but Tarantino could use blood and gore to paint such a picture, that captivates you from frame 1 and doesn’t let up till the very end, making you feel throughout the film as if you’re sitting on a lit powder keg.

There are several stories which merge into one, all set in Nazi occupied France, from 1941 onwards till shortly before the end of the war. It’s the story of a Jewish family caught hiding and butchered mercilessly and the story of a survivor of that butchery. Its the story of a extremely engaging yet cold-blooded SS Colonel, Hans Landa, who is also known as a Jew hunter, because of his ability to ferret out the Jews from their hiding places. Its the story of an American, Lt Aldo Reine (Brad Pitt), who puts together a daredevil bunch of Jews to hunt down the Nazi’s using guerrilla warfare tactics (they are called the Basterds - whether Glourious or Inglourious is upto you...and I have no idea why its misspelt). And its also the story of a premeire of a German film which stars and outlines the heroics of a German soldier who single handedly killed 250 American troops. How all these stories come together is what the film is about.

Tarantino’s reputation does precede him. You feel tension, even when someone is drinking milk and engaging in what seems polite chit chat. You feel tense even though there is no scary music in the background, there are bright sunlit blue skies and pretty girls (briefly) in the foreground. Even simple acts like washing up, lighting up pipes to smoke and the ‘routine’ questions being asked in Chapter 1, seem laden with menace. The stories move swiftly but again, they keep us on a knife edge as we see the brutal interrogation of a Nazi at the hands of the Basterds. We see a German actress trying to help a British service agent in a tavern full of Germans and play light hearted games while making us dizzy with tension.

Special mentions for the photography (amazing angles used), the background score (some known and unknown numbers provide all the atmosphere you need) and the acting. While everyone was very very good, Christoph Waltz, who played Hans Landa was simply outstanding, stealing the show from some of his more famous co-stars. My only gripes would be for the excessive violence and gore shown and for the fact that they kind of altered history towards the end (which I don’t think is a done thing).

I don’t know of anyone else who could have thought of this film and romanticised the blood and brutality the way Tarantino did. Humour is used throughout the film to make sure that despite the tension the film doesn’t become too intense. Its an amazing plot, brilliantly told and like all Tarantino films, makes its way very swiftly in to a ‘Must Watch’ list. Catch it on the big screen for the right impact and be warned, its not for the faint hearted.


Anonymous said...

The movie was slightly slow at times.

Rohit Deep said...

One of the few reviews I agree with. 100% Tarantino. I really liked the ending. It was completely unexpected and thus a joy. Since this is fiction, I think he stayed true and had a fictional ending. Definitely a classic that I will buy and enjoy over years.

Vikas said...

"bear jew" - brilliant !!

wasnt brad's accent superb ?

still didnt get how did the lady get the theatre..

haans was also very well done