BASTERDS – TARANTINO’S MASTERPIECE?
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Brad Pitt as Lieutenant Aldo Raine
Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus
Christoph Waltz as SS Colonel Hans Landa
Michael Fassbender as Lieutenant Archie Hicox
Eli Roth as Sergeant Donny Donowitz
Diane Kruger as Bridget von Hammersmark
Daniel Brühl as Fredrick Zoller
A colonel allows a Jewish teenager named Shoshanna Drefus, run free after gunning down the rest of her family. Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) leads his band of Nazi killers through World War II France on their mission behind enemy lines to “take no prisoners” and strike fear into the heart of Adolf Hitler, scalping any Nazi soldiers along the way. They call themselves, “The Basterds”.
As Shoshanna, now grown up and running a cinema under a false name, hosts a movie night about the heroics of a Nazi soldier, The Basterds begin a plan to take out as many Nazis as possible as the premiere takes place. Little do they know that Shoshanna’s desire is to do the same, only she is ready to let go of her beloved theatre to do so.
Quentin Tarantino brings his version of the Inglourious Basterds onto the big screen with a big bang. With an all star cast and a promising story line, Tarantino re-writes history with a tale of Jews fighting back and terrorising the Nazis. The opening scene works as more of a prelude to the main story, a prequel chapter if you will:
A small farmhouse, and a French family, who are hiding the Jewish Dreyfus family under their floorboards. Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) arrives to interrogate the family, and threatens their farm to get the information he wants. He slaughters the Dreyfus family, but lets the teenage girl Shoshanna run free in the aftermath. This may not have been the best decision the Colonel has made, but it makes for an explosive finale.
Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) is the leader of “The Basterds”, a group of Nazi Killers in German-Occupied france, and informs his motley crew of misfits that they each “owe” him 100 Nazi scalps, which seems to be a small plot line that isn’t revisited a lot, but does make for some blood thirsty scenes.
On the other side of the camp is Colonel Hans Landa, who turns out to be the main protagonist in the movie, Landa is ruthless slime of a man who you can’t help but love to hate. Tarantino makes him such a vicious yet comic character that he steals, if not makes most of the scenes he is in, including the long, bleak yet intense and gloriously suspense-filled opening.
Along for the ride in this fun and blood filled adventure is Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), a famous German movie star who is working with the allies, and our very own Michael Fassbender, who appears as Lieutenant Archie Hicox. These have an very tense scene together in a bar where all doesn’t quite go to plan, Hicox is sent as a liason due to his background as a movie critic.
Along with cameos from others such as Mike Myers, Paul Rust and Samm Levine, Inglourious makes for an exciting and fun filled return to form for Tarantino. The man himself can rest easy on this one.
This might just be his masterpiece.
Review by Brett | MFO