Volume 47, Number 2 - September 8, 2009

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Monique Dos Anjos
Monique Dos Anjos

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Nothing Inglourious About These Basterds

By Monique Dos Anjos

In his latest film, Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino (director, Pulp Fiction) has outshined everything else he could have conceived in his brilliant mind, not including Pulp Fiction, which still remains timeless and unmatched. There is no doubt that the gore, blood, cynicism, and comic relief are classic, quintessential representations of Tarantino’s trademark.

The movie has three main story lines, but that is nothing new for Tarantino. Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is a Nazi killing machine who has been dubbed the nickname “The Apache.” His leadership is gory, but only in small doses, and at times his morals are questionable.

Col. Hans “The Jew Hunter” Landa of the SS (Christoph Waltz) is an expert at finding any Jewish person because, to him, they are predictable. He offers something a true gentleman lacks, revealing his motives through his gritty teeth. Waltz plays a character that is the most genius villain ever created. The information he is privy to gives him his sly confidence and fox-like attitude. He gets what he wants, but it catches up with him later on.

The third story is about Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent), a Jewish refugee who wants nothing more than to reap the glory of revenge on the Nazi soldiers that stole her loved ones away. Shosanna is Tarantino’s heroine, and it falls into the pattern of independent, take-charge women in his other notable films.

Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino’s fantasy to what should have occurred during World War II and no one could have told the story better than Tarantino himself.

Transitions between French, English, German, and rarely spoken, humorous Italian languages were smooth, and the writing was more than what I anticipated. There are a total of five chapters in the film, and it doesn’t make you feel like its 153 minutes long.

If it is your first Tarantino film, don’t expect to love it at first. Watch Pulp Fiction first. Only then will you understand how his mind works. This spaghetti-western style movie is one that reminds us of how far we have come in cinema. Tarantino is merely reminding us how essential this style is through this film and many others.

Inglourious Basterds is definitely geared towards those who hold a special place in their heart for film throughout history, such as the undertones of Yvette Mimieux and a cameo by Rod Taylor.

For those who strive for historical accuracy or have a weak stomach, steer clear from this Tarantino film. The ending will bring both controversy and satisfaction.

Our generation grew up watching Pulp Fiction. We needed something that can at least come close to it, and that film is Inglourious Basterds. Although there were many factual errors, such as misuse of military uniform, the Nazi conquest map, or the change in Hitler’s eye color, the film was talky, cynically brilliant and enjoyable.

Disclaimer: This film is rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality

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