Monday, 4 February 2013

Inglourious Basterds.

Ten years in the making, Quentin Tarantino’s homage to the war movie, Inglourious Basterds (2009) was originally planned as a follow up to 1997s Jackie Brown. The Tarantino penned story tells of two linked plots. The first concerning a young Jewish girl Shosanna (Melanie Laurent), who runs a small cinema in Paris, secretly waiting an opportunity to avenge the deaths of her family by the Nazis Jew hunter Hans Landa. The second features the Basterds of the title, a gang of mainly Jewish-American soldiers led by Lieutenant Aldo Raine who are parachuted into occupied France to wage a guerrilla war against the evil occupying force. Their brief consists of ambushing, torturing and collecting scalps!! 

The film stars Brad Pitt, who hams it up as Aldo Raine, a cross between Clark Cable and Popeye, Christoph Waltz plays Colonel Hans Landa, a character destined to become one of cinema’s great baddies and a role for which he won a Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Michael Fassbender who gives a great pastiche of a young George Sanders portrays the British Lt. Archie Hicox. German actress Diane Kruger plays the beautiful Bridget von Hammersmark, a film starlet and double agent.

Some scenes outstay there welcome, going on far too long and therefore tend to weaken the tension. The normal Tarantino trademarks, good fast paced dialogue, tongue in cheek humour, good sharp acting, great wardrobe, and first-rate camera angles are all there plus a brilliant spaghetti western type soundtrack. The film is loud and brash, with characters speaking their own language, which makes the whole affair more authentic. No it’s not QTs best film to date, but it’s still a very enjoyable slice of the maestro’s work and well worth seeing. Incidentally many of the set pieces were shot at the Babelsberg Studio in Potsdam Germany, which is the oldest large-scale studio in the world and was in use during the war to produce films for the National Socialists!

Colonel Hans Landa is even a bigger basterd!

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