Spell check hates that title. It’s kind of funny, for quite a while I was never a huge Quentin Tarantino fan. His movies were alright (alright, alright, alright). But I just wasn’t in love with them. But one day, seemingly overnight, that all changed. I was IN LOVE with them. I think the moment that changed it all was probably the first time I saw Inglourious Basterds. Or maybe it was some random interview with Quentin (he is so fun to listen to). Or some combination of the two. Anyways, after that I have come to re-watch nearly all of his films and come away worshiping the ground he walks on. Ok, not quite. But still, Tarantino is definitely one of the most interesting directors of our time.
Quentin has many good films, but personally I think Inglourious Basterds is his masterpiece (he seems to agree if the end of the film is anything to go by).
Quentin is a master of dialogue (come on, that Reservoir Dogs scene is the shit! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J782jBp_pW0 ).
Quentin does it again in Basterds with the opening scene between Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and the French dairy farmer. Quentin doesn’t lose his touch for dialogue even when the majority of it is IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE. That’s what I enjoy the most about the film, listening to the different languages in conversations that are energetic. I’ve always loved listening to other languages and that combined with the great actors makes this movie so enjoyable. There is great chemistry between everyone and even though the movie is a little long, the quick witted conversations make it seem a lot shorter.
While Quentin focuses a lot on dialogue he doesn’t neglect the visuals. He keeps the camera moving during long dialogue scenes or places it at varying angles to keep the audiences eye engaged. Just watch that opening conversation and how the camera glides behind the characters, is placed slightly below them or how to slowly zooms in on their eyes as critical information is revealed. Quentin is a slave to the details and it works so well! It also helps that Christoph Waltz is amazing as Hans Landa. He captures the charm and menace of the character and captivates the audience all the while. No wonder he won the Oscar.
The other outstanding actor here (amongst many of them) is Melanie Laurent as Shoshanna. She is another great, strong female character who definitely belongs alongside Tarantino’s other great creations (the Bride, Jackie Brown, Mia Wallace, etc). She takes down Hitler! It doesn’t get more bad ass than that. I also love Michael Fassbender (this was the first film I noticed him in = Fassinator for life!), Daniel Bruhl, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, etc. Brad Pitt is good but his accent annoys me (other than “bongiorno”) as does Mike Meyers (seriously, why is he there?!)
If you are a fan of Tarantino you will love Inglourious Basterds. And if you’re not, you will probably hate it. You will also hate it if you are a history snob or if you have your head up your ass. But if you like witty, funny movies that take a few risks than you should love this. Is the plot totally logical and realistic? No, but it’s a heck of a lot of fun. 8.5/10
This is an extremely interesting video essay that has really impacted the way I watch Tarantino films from now on (I bet you never thought of food like this before):