A violent, humorous, surprising, twisted turn on history, Inglourious Basterds is a spectacular film. Quentin Tarantino’s unique style and essence make this film an unforgettable and unavoidable piece of grandiose cinema. With wonderful acting and one of the best scripts in decades, Inglourious Basterds is on par with Pulp Fiction in terms of Tarantino’s incredible history of filmmaking.
Beginning in Nazi-occupied France, the film introduces us to Col. Hans Landa of the SS (Christoph Waltz). Placed in France cow country by the Führer, Landa acts as a detector of the Jews for the Nazi Party. His given nickname – the ‘Jew Hunter’ – seems earned after his actions of the introduction scene. Played by Waltz with immense skill, Hans Landa is crafted as a true monster, yet he is acted with a boyish charm and intelligent multilingualism, contrasting his horrible intentions and making him all the more frightening.
The plot all comes together in Paris when a young cinema owner named Shoshanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent) catches the eye of German soldier and soon-to-be film star Frederick Zoller (Daniel Brühl). As someone with celebrity like status, Frederick convinces Joseph Goebbels to host his film premiere at Shoshanna’s theater. Hans Landa’s soldiers murdered Shoshanna’s parents, and so, filled with revenge, she concocts a plan to fill her cinema with Nazis and then burn it down. The Basterds hear of this film premiere and also plan to bomb the theater. Also thrown into the mix is Hans Landa again, and German film star turned British spy Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger).
Scripted with an impeccable sense of human dialogue, Inglourious Basterds is unique in almost every conceivable way. Quentin Tarantino once again displays his miraculous ability to write memorable lines, to craft special human characters displaying facets of malevolence and/or bravery, and to direct with a passion that is almost unparalleled with his film Inglourious Basterds. His own love of cinema comes through in the presentation of film as a theme in this movie, in fact one of the British soldiers (played by Michael Fassbender) is a former film critic, and names like G.W. Pabst, Louis B. Mayer, and David O. Selznick are discussed in this movie.