Friday, June 17, 2011

Inglorious Basterds

Movie Review : Inglorious Basterds
Released : 2009
Director : Quentin Tarantino
Starring : Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger
My Rating : 8 out of 10

I am not a big fan of Quentin Tarantino. Oh, I totally "get" his movies, I like them, but I just don't think of them as highly as most others do. In my opinion, he stresses more on style than on substance. I am also turned off by his fascination with macabre violence, and ego trips like Kill Bill. I am perfectly aware that this is but a minority viewpoint among movie aficionados.

I did like Pulp Fiction, and would definitely consider it a classic. And I have to say that, Inglorious Bastards is, in my opinion, the best Tarantino movie since Pulp Fiction. It's well crafted, full of vintage Tarantino scenes and very gripping.

The story takes artistic liberties to create alternate history of World War II, without being pretentious. There are 2 threads. In one, a group of American soldiers - the Basterds - led by Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is raging a successful guerilla warfare in France. Their task is to kill Nazis and collect their scalps. When they learn about the Nazi leadership attending a movie premiere in a small theater in Paris, they hatch a plan to blow up the entire theater. Helping them is a double agent Bridget von Hammersmart (Diane Kruger), who is a German actress.

In the second thread is about the owner of the theater - Emmanuelle. Her real name is Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent). At the beginning of the movie, we see her family butchered by the "Jew Hunter" Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). She also has her plans for taking revenge during the movie premiere. As expected, the 2 threads of the story eventually meet.

One of Tarantino's main strength, and his signature style, is to blend superb dialogues within scenes of brutal violence. Some of the scenes in this movie are wonderfully taut and tense. It's the anticipation of the violence that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Of course, the ensuing violence is typically shocking, as you can expect from Tarantino. The movie is watchable just for those scenes.

I do not want to give away a lot, else the unpredictability of the movie will be compromised, depriving you of a lot of excitement.

Acting overall is fairly good - especially by Christoph Waltz. His portrayal is unsettling and mesmerizing. Brad Pitt, does a variety of roles, quite unlike his super star image, and he succeeds. With every movie, I get more and more impressed. Both the female leads (Diane Kruger and Mélanie Laurent) look beautiful and give a strong performance. There are cameos by Eli Roth, and Mike Myers.

I definitely recommend this movie. There is no need to remind anyone, but just in case, Quentin Tarantino movies are never for kids. For anyone else who loves movies, this is one that should not be missed.

1 comment:

  1. We watched this movie in theater. It's entertaining.


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