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Inglourious Basterds REVIEW

Following his worst movie yet (Death Proof) Quentin Tarantino presents us with his filmmaking masterpiece known as Inglourious Basterds (2009). The film is Tarantino’s take on World War II and the Nazi occupancy in Europe. To say the least, Inglourious Basterds is the heaviest of Tarantino films due to its wartime setting and naturally dark content. Writing the script in 1998, which was then titled, “Once Upon a Time in… Nazi’s Occupied France” Tarantino abandoned the script after struggling on a crucial part of the film… the ending. But more on that later. After creating Kill Bill and Death Proof, the director decided to revisit the World War II script, and by making drastic changes, Tarantino found the film’s ending and voilà! Thus was the conception of Inglourious Basterds!

The film centers around the Nazi Germany leadership during World War II and the devise of taking down and assassinating the German power. Simultaneously, there are two plots to the Nazi demise, one instituted by Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) and his team of Jewish American soldiers known as the “Basterds”—a formed group of soldiers used to instill fear among Nazis by killing and scalping them. (Tarantino even does his cameo as one of the scalped Nazis!) The second assassination plot is constructed by Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a young French Jewish cinema proprietor, who owns her own theater. Three years earlier, Shosanna’s family was murdered under the power of Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) after he interrogates a French farmer about the whereabouts of a [Shosanna’s] Jewish family, knowing they are hidden under the floorboards of the Frenchman’s home…making one of the best cinematic openings in film history!

Shosanna, Lieutenant Aldo, and the rest of the Basterds eventually join forces to take down and kill leaders of the Nazi party, and SPOILER ALERT, this includes Adolf Hitler. After struggling and contemplating different versions of the story’s ending, Tarantino did not know whether to kill Hitler or not. Ultimately, he decided to rewrite history and create a revisional ending, something he has since become keen on (as seen in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood). Quentin made his choice and determined to, “just F***ing kill him” as stated during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

Diving in and out of English, German, French, and bits of Italian with the use of bilingual actors, Tarantino delivers his most mature film. And by “mature” I do not mean the blood and gore, because trust me there is plenty of that, but Tarantino makes a sophisticated film with Inglourious Basterds. Perhaps admirable, and any filmmaker would be lucky to create a fraction of Tarantino’s talent in this film, Inglourious Basterds is not the director’s most rewatchable film. Sure, I may not turn down the offer to indulge in this film, but due to the heavy nature of the narrative, I may throw Pulp Fiction on instead! However, the sophistication of Inglourious Basterds is also what makes the film great! Between the changes in language, extended use of dialogue sequences, heavy nature of war, and complex film techniques, Quentin Tarantino gives it his all and even lets the audience know with his final line of dialogue, “I think this might just be my masterpiece.”

Story/Plot20/20 Direction19/20 Acting - 20/20

Cinematography – ­19/20 Score/Soundtrack18/20

Overall: 96/100

The Founder of @HennionProductions,

Matthew Hennion

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