Inglourious Basterds ★★★★

Part of My Top 10 Films of 2009
Quentin Tarantino Ranked

“Au revior Shosanna!”

Isn't every film a big lie? Almost every film creates some characters and puts them in the middle of a dramatic situation and then pretends that it is showing us the truth. Movies take some facts and by dramatizing them they make something new, something that has never existed before. This may explain the significance of cinema, you can lie and then show this lie to other people and if you’re a good liar then people will enjoy what they’re watching , but people lie when they have something to fear, when they are ashamed of what has happened. So why not to change something as annoying and disgraceful as WWII and come up with something funnier and something much sweeter? And if directors are liars then I assume Mr. Tarantino is one of the best liars out there.

Inglorious Basterds may be about revenge, it may be a film about the uncontrollable violence or it may be even a period drama. But before all of these it is a movie that honors cinema. Cinema becomes the tool for vengeance. Shosanna’s theater becomes a place where history takes its revenge. The theater becomes the Nazi’s graveyard, a place where The Fuhrer finally gets what he deserved. And let’s not forget that we’re watching a film. And it is a lie. So let it be a glorious lie. Historians have their own facts, we just care about what we see, it is hilarious and that’s enough. The lie should be hilarious.

The opening chapter of the film is perhaps the greatest thing that Tarantino has ever made. The claustrophobia, the sense of helplessness and the distress in that sequence cannot be described by words. At that point we don’t anything about Hans Landa, we know that he may be a bad ass German officer, but we don’t know about his methods. When he suddenly switches to English we don’t pay attention to him. But the shock that follows in the sequence proves us wrong. We realize that he is not just a simple bad ass officer. He does things in his own way. And his ways are terrorizing. Christoph Waltz does an absolutely grand job and creates a villain that is as powerful and charismatic as cinema’s most famous antiheroes.

One of the best things about this film is its pacing, it is 152 minutes long but story unfolds quickly, there are plenty of characters and lots of events that in the end it is not easy to believe that we have watched a 2 and half hour film. The cafe scene was great, the tension was building up from the beginning of that scene and finally it ended in the most terrific way. Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt portray intriguing characters and supporting actors give amazing performances. Robert Richardson’s cinematography gives the film a special and beautiful look and Tarantino’s choice of music is praiseworthy as always.

Although Basterds is a fabulous and unforgettable film but obviously it is not Tarantino’s best film. The biggest flaw of the film –in my opinion- was Landa’s sudden change of direction. We think that he is an intelligent man who is always ahead us viewers, a clever guy who knows how to do things. But suddenly he does something utterly stupid. And the worst thing is he is behaving like an idiot. Where did that come from? We never knew that he is capable of such idiocy. I couldn't connect with that at all.

Inglorious Basterds is one of the boldest movies ever made. It alters history, takes revenge and once more proves the genius of a director named Quentin Tarantino. Some people may not like the attitude of the film and that’s understandable. Some dreams may make people feel uneasy. And this is a dream...or a lie?

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