Film Commentary: INGLORIOUS BASTERDS (directed by Quentin Tarantino)

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by Eve Meadows on February 8, 2020

in Extras


Mind the spelling, Mr. Tarantino calls this his “bunch of guys on a mission” movie. Set in 1944, the film follows two parallel stories that quickly converge. In the first, an American group of Jewish soldiers called “The Basterds”, led by Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt), plans terror attacks against German troops in occupied France. In Paris, a theatre owner (Melanie Laurent) is approached by a German soldier to host the French premiere of his propaganda film. What he doesn’t know is that she is part of the resistance.

Fans were waiting for Tarantino to make a movie with the moral and artistic complexity of Pulp Fiction or Jackie Brown. Inspired by an obscure 1978 flick by Enzo Castellari, and set to the music of Ennio Morricone, this film embeds everything we love about Tarantino’s creative, dark and twisted sense of humor.

Behind the Inglourious Characters

Bold and quite bizarre, there is no denying that this movie has the flair of other Tarantino movies. Metaphorically, this movie represents the fantasy of how cinema can save the world. While that can be a pretty much naïve sentiment, it is one that’s played for action and laughs. Brad Pitt gives a very dark-humoured performance as the grunting Raine, opposite from Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa on the German side. Cultured, sophisticated and perhaps the most sadistic German soldier on screen, Landa is the officer who can make a threat out of a glass of milk, as critics say.

The Muse has a new name – Christoph Waltz

Waltz was 50 years old when he was cast for this role. Before this movie, he had mainly played in low-budget TV series. Tarantino noticed the potential, stating stated that if it wasn’t for Waltz, this movie probably would not have been filmed. This breakout role brought him a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for best actor in a supporting role. The crowning glory of this film belongs to Waltz, with whom no fault or error can be found. He is the living proof of Tarantino’s great ability to cast. Thanks to him, Waltz got a one-shot career opportunity and to put it this way: “That was a bingo!” This line remained as one of the most memorable moments in the history of cinema. That brief moment represented an effortless and charming overview of the game of bingo. However, today bingo has transferred its popularity online rather than offline, so be sure to check out these new bingo sites to stay updated on the latest popular games.

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The other characters — Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), Lt. Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), Frederick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl) and Donny Donowitz (Eli Roth) also shine bright. They are unpredictable, fun, scary, brutal and in a way appealing. The dialogue between characters evolves from provocatively vulgar to darkly intelligent. It is nice to see that each language presented (German, French and English) is employed equally and rather naturally. Amazingly enough, Tarantino manages to make his actors pull off natural and graceful performances.

Tarantino, similar to Woody Allen, is fond of showing off his love for European auteur cinema. L. Riefenstahl and H.G. Clouzot are pretentiously referenced here, as you can experience through the narrative of Samuel L. Jackson’s voiceover. The ending however, when it finally stumbles, somehow leaves the audience with a lot of questions. No matter the plot twist, it is up to your interpretation to figure out the final scenes and words.

This movie makes no apologies and asks for no forgiveness. Tarantino does not care if he offends or steps all over stereotypes and clichés. This movie represents film making at its finest. Tarantino is a master of creating immense tension, mixing it with laugh out loud moments. You are not sure if you should look away in disgust or have a blast; either way it’s a roller coaster not to be missed. This film will not only entertain and teach, but will also provoke discussions on ethics and principles.

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