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Archive for November, 2009

Inglourious Basterds– Tarantino’s epic!

Inglourious_Basterds_poster

Chapter 1

Once upon a time…

Script in the making

Ever since 2001, Tarantino had been talking about the script which one day would be his master piece : “My bunch-of-guys-on-a-mission film. My Dirty Dozen or Where Eagles Dare or Guns of Navarone kind of thing.” Story of Any genre seems to get a new life when Tarantino scripts it into his own. Since Tarantino wanted this to be a spaghetti western movie,the movie has got a unique texture, bizarre tone and simplistic mise-en-scène. In the last ten years, every time there was an interview with Tarantino, there was a question about Inglourious basterds. And now, the movie lives up to its expectations.

Chapter 2

Inglourious synopsis

Tarantino makes it too difficult to write a plot synopsis of the movie. About who shall I say the movie is all about? Is it about the basterds, a group of Jewish-American soldiers under the leadership of Lieutenant Aldo Raine{Brad Pitt} who enter France as civilians to cause maximum damage to the Nazis with a unique stratagem? Or is it about the Nazi Colonel Hans Landa{Christoph Waltz}, the Jew-Hunter who enjoys the culling and killing of the hiding Jews in France? Or is it about the young Jewish girl Shosanna{Mélanie Laurent} who escapes Hans Landa to plan out the massacre of Hitler and Co later? Don’t know. Tarantino takes sides with nobody inside the plot though the story is rooted in anti-Nazism. The titling method is similar to that of the 20th century novelists’: Pick out one of the chapter titles from the book and there we go. But the title is inspired from the 1978 war film Inglourious basterds as Tarantino confesses.The movie is set in 1940s and in the Nazi occupied France. In the classical sense, The Basterds and Shosanna can be looked at as the protagonists who fight their way to a goal: To kill the Nazis while Hans Landa is the Antagonist supposedly preventing them from doing so. Tarantino plays his own game throughout the movie by smashing out the common notions about a movie which runs on a screen. The movie is divided into 5 chapters:

Chapter One: Once Upon a Time … Nazi Occupied France

Chapter Two: Inglorious Basterds

Chapter Three: German Night in Paris

Chapter Four: Operation Kino

Chapter Five: Revenge of the Giant Face

After watching the movie if you think you can summarise it, you are wrong. Go watch the movie again, not to rewrite  but to realise the futility of your attempt.

Chapter 3

Quentinian delight in theatres

This is not only a universal masterpiece in the Tarantinian sense of the word universe but also in the OED meaning of it. The movie’s first scene involving the conversation between Hans Landa and Perrier LaPadite{Denis Menochet} tells it all. Every scene in the movie stands out with its own laurels. Christoph Waltz’s terrorising performance as Hans Landa wakes us all from our naive romantic sleep into the harsh world of reality: Never rely on the goodness of men. Only a very few actors get to perform a role like this one and Waltz has played it beyond perfection. Brad Pitt in the skin of “Aldo the Apache”, scalps and cuts his way out in a grand fashion, as the director wanted him to. He makes us laugh in the places where we are afraid to. Mélanie Laurent, who showcases her ability to range between the innocent cinema owner to the ruthless witch who has the last laugh. The Baseball bat swinging ‘Bear Jew’ played by Producer, Director and writer Eric Roth hits us for a surprising home run. Even the actors who occupy the screen only for a short time do justice to the movie. There are a lot of hidden violence in the movie other than what is shown. For instance watch the Cinderella parody. This is one of the major forties of the movie apart from the flawless acting. Tarantino shows no mercy to the lion or the Lamb so no character is left without his stamp. The slow and steady rise in the tempo of the plot is as good as the good old westerns the movie imitates. Tarantino has successfully blended the history genre with the wild western type in Inglourious Basterds. Though an experimentalist, Tarantino always sets the cash registers ringing at the box office, and this is true with Inglorious Basterds too.

Chapter 4

Operation DeKonstruktion

The elements of spaghetti Western style strips this movie out of the grandiose of historical movies and period films. The set designs and locales also fall short of a proper war movie. Though deliberately done, this hurts at times. The movie explicitly portrays Germans in a bad light. The inset film within the film is actually a satanic parody of the real audience! Although good, Long conversations and monotonous activities contribute to the overall effect, they make the movie dull, once a while. Also Bridget von Hammersmark’s{Diane Kruger} mistake which leads to the denouement appears so silly for a shrewd character.

Chapter5

Victory of the technical faces

Minimalist cinematography, which is one of the characteristic features of a spaghetti western film is well done in this film by ace cinematographer Robert Richardson. The lightings and background colours used in the production design of this movie are amazingly perfect for the film. Even the soundtrack is a mixture of various old western movie tracks. Undoubtedly Inglourious basterds deserves a place among the greatest of war movies. So Tarantino says: There are no heroes only basterds!
-Spontic

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