Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” opens with a view of the rural village. We don’t have any information about who this character was or where it was. What we know for sure it’s set in Nazi-occupied France because of the first chapter title: “Once Upon a Time in Nazi-occupied France”. Perrier LaPadite (Denis Ménochet), the dairy farmer, told his daughter to act normal. In the same time, he told the Jewish family, the Dreyfus, to hide. After that, the “Jew Hunter”, Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), a detective of the Waffen-SS, held an informal conversation while ordering delicious milk, not wine.
The language change back to English. The papers and the state of all the families around LaPadite’s region have been accounted for. Except, there was no Dreyfus family. They had normal conversations at the beginning, LaPadite has the power in this situation while smocking his cigar. Meanwhile, Landa can only drink his milk, a subtle hint, while still can’t take over the power. But, we know he is the Jew Hunter, the Nazi, the Waffen-SS. Landa knew that the bomb was under their feet but still, they didn’t speak French.
When this moment came, LaPadite stopped smoking his cigar while crying. Landa, on the other hand, took his cigar which was bigger than LaPadite. After that, the language switches back to France, killing the Dreyfus family. There is a scream, gunshots, panic, and fear. One person managed to escape, Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent), into the hills. Landa decided to not shoot her with his gun. Instead, he is yelling “Au revoir, Shosanna!”. And like that, the chapter ends.
“Inglourious Basterds” is a fairy tale, a sweet yet smooth tale narrated by Quentin Tarantino. It’s a historical movie about “if”, a Tarantino universe of its own. It’s a movie about the Holocaust like “Schindler’s List”, its about Tarantino’s view of Nazi. Just like the first scene of the movie, there is a bomb underneath the table. The movie fills with bombs, scenes between scenes whether with a little subtle hint, we know we are watching a movie by Quentin Tarantino. With over-the-top violence, so many dark humor, and even you can see Tarantino’s head scalped by the Jews. So funny.
Suspense is the key in this “Inglourious Basterds”. The third chapter with just the “three glasses” hint is very interesting yet full of tension. The emergence of Waltz’s Hans Landa, the Jew hunter, trying to interrogate the farmer is just mind-blowing. Tarantino gives a rubber band like a suspension. The suspense came with five minutes but after a scene, there was a lot of suspense and even 20 minutes long. He gave us a sign even though it’s in reality, this isn’t your cup of tea. There is a wonderful pleasure after watching this film. Minutes passed, scene after scene, surprise after surprise, twist after twist, we really love blood.
Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine is the leader of the Basterds, a Nazi hunter group. He is a Southern guy who only told his soldiers to do one weird thing: bring 100 Nazi scalps. The Basterds, for years, lived to slaughter all Nazis and their last mission this time was assassinate Adolf Hitler. Shosanna, by chance, with her red lipstick, also has the same mission after her family was slaughtered. Who knows she can come together with the Basterds? There is Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark, the spy for the Allied. There is Eli Roth as Sgt. Donny Donowitz or the Jewish Bear, using his baseball bat, he was greatly feared by the Nazis.
“Inglourious Basterds” is nor “Pulp Fiction“, “Reservoir Dogs“, and “Jackie Brown”. Of course, I also don’t know what the film really is. There is nothing in this movie, an entertainment for us. All of the characters aren’t well-rooted even we don’t know who deserves it. There is no good ending for them, for Christoph Waltz as well, in fact, he is the most interesting character. The detective is a cunning and cruel person, a little bit sarcastic, but his attitude is fun. He can speak in many languages, French, Italian, German, and everything is thick. Small details, how to express, react, is just a central for this movie. Predicate, when he is on screen, we know something bad is happening.
The dialogue represents the tension of this film. The close-up shot and many great camera movements. There was a silence, remembering exactly what will happen next. The score is like watching Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western movie. But, instead, this is Tarantino. A dramatization put at its stakes, powerful drama, action, and of course, violence. Inspired by the Third Reich, World War II, this isn’t real history. Tarantino packs it spectacularly. All of the cast plays their respective roles. Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger as a Gestapo slayer, Melanie Laurent, and others. They play a real character, Martin Wuttke as the “comic relief” fuhrer. The art department, the property, and the set are very beautiful, especially the movie theater in the last scene. Magnificent yet beautiful.
Bottom line, this is one of the most ambitious work, without further ado, from Quentin Tarantino. Tells a complex story but is still easy to digest, making ourself become goosebumps. This movie is an “inglorious” masterpiece. One-second regret until the details are very worthy to see and witness. As a result, “Inglourious Basterds” is a fun movie, an entertainment style of Tarantino, and a masterpiece. All the characters are likable, there are so many memorable moments, the dialogue, the suspense, all of these. Nein, Nein, Nein, Nein, Nein!
4.5 out of 5 stars.