What can I say about Quentin Tarantino that hasn’t already been said? He makes movies with an abhorrent amount of violence according to conventional standards; despite his films being quite commercial.
His films involve a ton of themes around racism, offending people, and derogatory words being used. He has a tendency to go overboard with the themes he works with, Django Unchained for example was chock full of the N-Word. It shouldn’t have had that many uses of it, and it definitely shouldn’t have shown that much violence against the slaves. However, Inglorious Basterds on the other hand gave Tarantino full freedom to do absolutely whatever he wanted.
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The Movie Review
Inglorious Basterds is a multi-threaded film. It goes through different chapters, which show different characters and different times in their lives. It shows a group of French citizens who let their Jewish neighbors hide within the basement of their house, and how the ruining of this family at the hands of a ruthless SS Officer Hans Landa sparks one of its revenge arcs.
A separate arc involves the infiltration of France by a ragtag group of American soldiers, working under Lieutenant Aldo Raine. Their job was to kill as many Nazis as possible, however after a certain change of plans; their entire purpose changes. Now, they are to hit the Swastika-wearing bastards where it hurts; by literally killing Hitler. The other arcs revolve around different characters who are also working to basically further the same cause.
So, why is this film hailed as not just one of the most essential Quentin Tarantino films, but films of the last two decades? Well, it’s due to how masterfully each of the chapters in this film is divided and how they are written. Every single chapter brings a new character or more to the table and puts these characters into completely different situations as compared to their previous ones.
They move from one location to the other slowly, with large portions being filled with characters conversing. This style is something that Tarantino is known for, large sequences where the tension just keeps on building up until you have no idea what to expect from anything that will happen.
The performances, though, are some of the best of the 2000s. Every single actor brings their best here, from Christoph Waltz’s terrifying portrayal of the ruthless Hans Landa to Brad Pitt’s witty and sharp portrayal of Aldo Raine. There are sequences in this film that just wouldn’t be as good if it wasn’t for the amazing acting.
Michael Fassbender has an entire scene within this film where he speaks mainly in German, and it does not feel forced or out of place at all whatsoever. Diane Kruger has a role within the film, which is always a delight to see.
Melanie Laurent and Daniel Brühl in my opinion had some of the most intense scenes within the film though, and some of them were the funniest scenes in the film too. However, nothing is funnier than watching Hitler get shot to absolute shreds!
The cinematography in Inglorious Basterds is right up to Tarantino and Robert Richardson’s standards. However, it showcases a significant leap in his style of cinematography.
The shots are wider, and the composition is more laid out. The characters are much more of a focus rather than the environment in Inglorious Basterds as if Tarantino nudges us to listen to these conversations and to pay attention to the stories they have. It’s a huge change from the more action and environment heavy style of Kill Bill.
The Bottom Line
So, overall, when it comes to Quentin Tarantino’s funniest film yet, it has to be Inglorious Basterds. No way are any of his other films competing against it, even if Pulp Fiction might actually be more focused on being a comedy film than Inglorious Basterds!
Tarantino comes back with a proper film after a five-year-long hiatus since Kill Bill Vol. 2, and he scores big time here. This film is the mark of an auteur that is bold and brutal, unafraid to showcase whatever he wishes to show. Inglorious Basterds will be my favorite Tarantino film for a long while yet.