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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

[10/10] Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

We know "Inglourious Basterds"' story - a WWII tale told only as Tarantino can. He is able to give us a picture of the entire war, showing us not only British, American and German soldiers, but also giving us glimpses into the world of French and German civilians, both collaborators and Resistance. It goes without saying that any Tarantino film is going to have fantastic dialogue, but when Tarantino made the decision to have the French characters speak French and the Germans speak German, beyond adding a level of authenticity, Tarantino also somehow ensured that his dialogue in French was as sharp and funny and clever as his English dialogue. Tarantino plays with his usual palette of colors: violence, humor, crisp dialogue, and music and mixes all of them that create new colors and shocking results that only he can pull off. There is violence, you will see people scalped, beaten to death, and shot to pieces, but it is war. Tarantino's violence has always seemed stylized to me, not cartoonish, maybe hyper-real is a better to describe it. The violence looks like it could be real but there is an element that lets you realize the violence is fictional without pulling you out of the movie. And there's Tarantino's dark humor that if were in different circumstances or situations we might not ordinarily laugh at, but Tarantino bends the situation just enough for a dark humor to materialize and that's mostly because of the dialogue Tarantino is noted for. Then, there is the performance and the perfect casting - and here I have to insert another ode to Tarantino - he is a great actor's director. Every actor who has been in one of his films has given unforgettable and amazing performances and in "Inglourious Basterds" it is no different. Not only that, but the casting for his films are always perfect. Every single actor in his films is great. They are so expressive and intense, fitted perfectly to their characters. There are no small and unimportant roles. Every character seems to deserve the best actor for it and every actor delivers the best portrayal for their character. And no, I'm not referring here especially to Brad Pitt as Aldo Rainer. I don't think anyone is surprised any more that Pitt is an amazing actor and, to be completely honest, I don't expect anything less than incredible from him. I am talking about everyone else and particularly about Christophe Waltz as Hans Landa. Waltz truly takes over and "Inglourious Basterds" becomes his film. His performance is theatrical in a way without being over the top or fake! His performance became my all time favorite male performance. It's that exceptional! "Inglourious Basterds" is not a piece of history, it is a work of absolute fiction, a fairy tale with a wartime setting, and as such should be regarded with a degree of open mindedness. Those who expect another depressing, hard-to-watch Holocaust movie shall be disappointed. However, those wanting to be entertained and willing to approach this as a work of fiction, will find a film that is gripping, funny and thrilling in equal measure. Tarantino has made a war movie that practically blows the genre apart at the seams. And it is utterly fantastic!

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