Inglourious Basterds: Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France (2009)

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Adventure, Drama, War

Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France, a villainous Colonel of the Nazi regime was rounding up Jews from across the country. No one was safe from his trickery or the fear he brought with him. His reign seemed unstoppable but two forces were about to rise to challenge his power and take down the Nazi threat. On one hand, a young girl who’s family was killed in front of her eyes has become a proprietor of a movie theater and winds up with an opportunity to do some major damage against the Nazi party. On the other, a group of Jewish rebels have banded together to take out the Nazi’s one at a time until they can find their way to take out Hitler. As the story unfolds, the two plans begin to intertwine and promise to change the course of human history.

Starring: Brad Pitt (Lt. Aldo Raine), Christoph Waltz (Col. Hans Landa), Melanie Laurent (Shosanna Dreyfus), Eli Roth (Sgt. Donny Donowitz), Michael Fassbender (Lt. Archie Hicox), Diane Kruger (Bridget von Hammersmark), Daniel Bruhl (Fredrick Zoller), Jacky Ido (Marcel), Til Schweiger (Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz), Gedeon Burkhard (Cpl. Wilhelm Wicki)

The top-billed actor Brad Pitt plays the leader of the Basterds, Lt. Aldo Raine. He has a hilarious accent to be the leader of the Jewish-American guerilla soldiers but his presence helps to bring a little levity to some of the more serious action and dramatic sequences. Christoph Waltz truly steals the screen as the Col. Hans Landa, aka the Jew Hunter. The entire first scene of the film shows the intensity of his character and the strength of his will. His calm brings a false sense of security and he suddenly breaks expectations, dramatically increasing the tension and affecting the viewer. While Melanie Laurent reminds me of Scarlett Johansson, Laurent has a powerful combination of grace and fire as her character plots to serve a major blow to the Nazi effort.

Tarantino is well known for his unusual and sometimes controversial storytelling style. In the case of Inglourious Basterds, the combination of acting and intense moments turn an altered version of World War II into a masterpiece of violence. When the Basterds captured the group of Nazis in the forest, the Bear Jew brought an unlikely brutish element to the rebel faction, wielding a large bat and bashing the Nazis into the ground. With a plan to destroy the Nazi menace in the movie theater, Shosanna strives to execute her scheme to burn everyone alive but also ends up facing off a gunpoint against the Nazi hero whose crush on her drives him to obsession. The film has number of great lines, moments and characters that weave together into a violent but witty war drama.

I definitely appreciated the work of Christoph Waltz and would say that his was the best performance of 2009. The rest of the cast comes together to make one great Tarantino film.

Dan’s Rating: 4.5/5


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