To the disdain and often irritation of many professional filmmakers, Quentin Tarantino continues to produce numerous outstanding films within a short period of time; some of the latest of which have been his re-written history series. These professionals watch, ashamedly, as their hard works are passed in favor of Tarantino’s for awards, and Quentin continues to springboard otherwise unheard of actors and actresses into far more successful careers. To call what he does an obsession would be something of an understatement, and yet the inevitable inclusion of controversial material (or at the very least, gratuitous violence) has limited his fanbase from where it might otherwise be. Tarantino, for what it matters, does not seem to care, and is intent more on creating the product he wants to create than generating mass appeal.
Inglourious Basterds is clever from the very title; an English spelling of Inglourious coupled with an odd, misspelled vernacular of “Bastards.” I have no difficulty in saying that this was an unexpected viewing experience for my part, because due to the advertising campaign it was shown as simply an angry, aggressive and violent revenge film when in reality, 90% of it is more clever, subtle dialogue with escalating and abating tension to the amusement of the viewer.
To watch requires patience; it runs over an hour and a half, and if this isn’t your sort of thing you should know within the first fifteen minutes. The tremendous acting of the newly discovered actor Christoph Waltz (Who also plays a major role in Tarantino’s Django Unchained), more or less carries the film. Despite being its main antagonist, he captures the viewer’s attention whilst being charming yet evil, clever and horrifying.
The other major members of the cast perform to standard. Michael Fassbender has a very solid (yet brief) appearance, and Brad Pitt is given something of an unpolished role to work with. Many viewers felt Pitt’s acting ruined the film, but for my money he was simply playing a very rough character (See; Basterds) as opposed to the more refined roles of Fassbender and Waltz. Characters tend to carry some heavy stereotypes, the Nazis almost all have screeching, angry dialogue, The Americans are very gung-ho and the British use just about every prim cliché line in the book.
It’s not a film intended to be historically accurate. I couldn’t pull a strong message from it save that “War makes basterds of us all.” There aren’t too many “good guys,” and you’ll find yourself wondering whether or not what the Basterds are doing even merits praise at all; still, the dialogue is strong enough, and the plot intriguing enough to keep even the most benign film goer interested to the end.