Hello!! If you love movies then you have landed at the right place where you will get reviews for whatever flicks that I watch when I am bored. Caution: Most of my reviews tend to be biased!! :) .

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Being an absolutely devoted Quentin Tarantino fan has its pros and cons. The pro being that every new movie of his is treated by you as not merely another movie but an event. The con is that every movie makes you feel like an invitation to a heavenly seven-course meal, but in the end, you often come out with the feeling that due to scarcity of time, the final course was never served in the event!! Of course, you can never complain because rest of the meal was so savory to the taste buds. But then somewhere after all that charming aftertaste has died down, you get that undeniable feeling of being unsatisfied. I was pretty much expecting my next “meal” served by QT to repeat the same feelings but sometimes what you expect is never on the menu (like the movie’s innocuous looking misspelled title!!).
It all begins by unfolding of the first of five chapters of the movie. A narrative structure which has been QT’s favorite. Titled “Once upon a time .. in a Nazi occupied France” it is undoubtedly the best of the lot and sets the tone for rest of the movie. It introduces Nazi officer Col. Hans Landa, a “Jew-Hunter” who is out to flush out a simpleton hiding Jews in his quaint farm. Landa, played by Christopher Waltz, is easily one of the most charming, enigmatic and evil characters to ever grace any Tarantino movie. He is soft, charming and almost casual to begin with. But when he begins to lay his cards down, his menacing evil is awe inspiring. Even the subtle transition of his talks from French to English (yeah, most of the movie is in four different languages and requires a whole lot of subtitles!), have their own hidden sinister purpose rather than just an attempt to make it easier for the viewer to understand. By the time this chapter ends we have two key players for the final act ready for us.
The second chapter brings us to the fulcrum of all the twists and turns in the story- the “basterds”. Led by a delightfully accented Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine, the Nazi-killers show us their mettle as they literally go swinging off Nazi heads. The violence is brutal but absolutely unapologetic. That’s despite the employment of long camera shots of the killings and less gore compared to other QT movies. We also have the first look at Hitler, who is more a comic caricature rather than an actual tyrant. The next two chapters involves amongst others -a Nazi war hero’s romantic flings with a theatre owner(who actually is a Jew survivor from an earlier chapter played by Melanie Laurent), a German movie superstar who is also a spy (Diane Kruger) and an intense battle of wits in a bar- all directed towards the final act of an attempt at bringing the fuehrer down. And if you also pay attention then you might manage to catch a heavily disguised Mike Myers!!
The delightful thing about the movie is performance of each and every character. Every chapter contains little gems of performances by protagonists of the act. Therein also lies the bone of contention for many viewers who might expect Brad Pitt’s company to lead the show. But as the posters state, it’s not only they but every other character who is a “basterd”. Waltz leads the pack with a truly Oscar worthy performance that is worth watching till the final cut. The fourth chapter has a “basterd” in Nazi disguise (Michael Fassbender) and a Nazi officer (August Diehl) stealing the show in an engaging verbal duel of finding true identities. Just like the first chapter, the tension is palpable but devoid of any dramatics. Every uttered dialog swings the tempo in different directions and leaves you at the edge of your seat. In short, it’s Tarantino at his very best!! Til Schweiger and Eli Roth are great sidekicks too while both girls in the movie are straight off from the other QT movies: beautiful, strong and very deceptive. Brad Pitt leads the “basterds” with sheer panache of his dialog delivery. More importantly, those twisted spewed lexis of his hold their charm till the end because QT downplays the character. Something he probably learned from the overdose of Bill that killed Kill Bill Vol.2.
Like every QT movie, there are unpredictable twists and turns in this too. Lead characters are killed off gruesomely and often tragically. Also akin to his earlier movies, the movie is slightly longer than it should be. But just when you think the final act gives the first hint of dragging, the momentum swings fast. Chaos reigns and thankfully this time Tarantino doesn’t hold back and gives you literal history-changing moments!! All in all, the overall experience is so satisfying that you truly wish to give the director a standing ovation. Tarantino himself seems to thinking the same when he signs off with Lt.Aldo saying “This might just be my masterpiece”!! Indeed, till his next movie, it surely is!!
RATING: ****1/2 (out of 5)
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