So recently I’ve been trying to watch a new film at least every other day in order to try and expand my film knowledge and be able to watch a wider variety of films. So this week I’ve ended up watching a couple of Tarantino films: Reservoir Dogs and Inglourious Basterds. In this review, I want to talk about, if you haven’t guessed already, Inglourious Basterds.
This film is obviously directed by Quentin Tarantino and stars Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent and Christoph Waltz. It came out in 2009 and was nominated for 8 Oscars, with Christoph Waltz winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as the menacing Col. Hans Landa.
First of all I want to talk about some of the amazing cinematography that this film features. A stand out scene for myself is the milk/pipe sequence between Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and a French Dairy Farmer (Denis Menochet). Within this scene Landa monologues about how he earned his nickname ‘The Jew Hunter’ and how he can ‘think like a Jew’. He goes on to talk about how he can find the people this dairy farmer is hiding under his floorboards, slowly getting into the dairy farmers head, making the farmer fear him and make the thought of surrendering the hidden people appealing. After an almost 10 minute scene just set between these two characters featuring minimal cuts and using the camera shots to show who holds the power between the two. Starting off the with dairy farmer, on the left of the shot, as he allows Landa into his home and then switching to Landa on the left as he turns the conversation and becomes more powerful and fearful, eventually getting what he wants and killing the people hidden under the floorboards.
Another feature of this film I found fascinating was the way in which Tarantino switched between the use of German, English and French dialogue. A large part of this film is spoken in a different language and so subtitles are required but this doesn’t lesson the effect of any of the scenes, with it actually making me even more intrigued by the scenes.
The colour in this film is also fantastic. This is emphasised a lot within the final sequences of the film which is set in the french cinema with the red colour of the Nazi flags hanging down the walls of the cinema as the high ranking officials of the Nazi regime (including Hitler) watch a propaganda film, clearly foreshadowing the amount of blood and gore about to be shown within the film.
Besides all of that ‘proper’ film stuff, the plot of this film is brilliant. There are 3 main plots of this film, which all lead up to the finale where they all cross-over. The first is Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) hunting down Jews in France and then arranging the Cinema for the Propaganda film. The second is a group of American Soldiers are dropped into occupied France to take out German soldiers, eventually being drafted in to try and take down the Fuhrer himself. And the third and final plot point is a Jewish woman’s cinema being chosen to host the film premiere and her plot on how to take down the German officials during their premier.
And I haven’t even started about the performances in this film. Christoph Waltz gives an amazing performance, truly worthy of his Oscar. He’s menacing yet oddly charming and towards the end you really feel as if you connect with him even though he’s an evil person. Second to that Brad Pitt’s performance as the Southern American Lieutenant leading the Americans is a standout performance. I’ve never actually seen a performance like this from him and it was both funny and enticing, I’m surprised he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar.
Okay, time to sum up. Basically, this was a great film. Despite the other languages featured within, the cinematography was amazing, the performances were brilliant and i absolutely loved the plot. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet. 100% would recommend.