Saturday, 10 October 2009

QT Virginity

I no longer haz it.

Having nothing to compare it to, I'm told Inglourious Basterds is pretty par for the Tarantino course; gory, twisted sense of humour, melodramatic. However, well aware of said reputation, I was surprised as how much I enjoyed this film in all its kitsch comedy (mind you, there were many scenes I couldn't watch for the grisly bits.)

The film shifts between thriller and, at times, something resembling the cinematic equivalent of a comic book. Tarantino certainly doesn't take no prisoners with his audience, either; from start to finish the film an assault on all the senses; bloody, brutal, no-holds-barred, all set to a hardcore, rock soundtrack which, more often than not, indicates someone's going to die. The dialogue is absolutely brilliant, witty, irreverent, which is probably why it wasn't just another savage war film.

The cinematography lingers on every glorious death throe and at times is so overly dramatised (moving between characters like a tennis match except with devastating consequences) you want to shakeTarantino and say "get on with it man!"

Christoph Waltz is unwavering and disturbingly convincing as the SS Colonel Hans Landa nicknamed the "Jew Hunter" for his so-called ability to think like Jews, who well deserves the Best Actor Award he received at Cannes this year. Brad Pitt's exaggerated-beyond-belief American accents ("we're in the Nat-zi killing business") is a constant source of cringing but also amusement.

It's probably true that the film is way too long, being that's it's about 2 hr 45 min. There's lots of scenary and unnecessary dialogue that could be cut, being as a lot of it's conveyed by the subtle character interaction. An example of this - and one of my favourite scenes - is when Shosanna Dreyfus (Mélanie Laurent, who is fantastic as a Jew who got away, living under cover in Germany) is taken out for lunch by the SS and runs into Col Landa - the man who came after her family as a child. The tension is not only palpable, but fearful. Diane Kruger plays the femme fatale as Bridget von Hammersmark, a double agent German actress.

Although the film "provides a fascinating alternate history to aspects of the war in Europe," jdl raised an interesting point about whether the film is a disservice to the Jewish memory. It struck me throughout the film that what the Basterds were doing to the Nat-zis is on the same cruelty level as what they were doing to the Jews. Doesn't that make the Jews - or these Jews, in particular - as bad as the Nat-zis? Just look at the way barbarism is glorified in the above advertisements. Sure, we want to see them fight back, and we're cheering for them to blow up Hitler, but does that make them any more justified? The film is satirical to the point of being silly, but is Tarantino really empowering the Jews through this film or dehumanising them? There's Jewish heroism, and then there's the Basterds, who may not be a kind memory to Jewish suffering, which leads to another point: should the Holocaust genre be treated more sensitively by Hollywood? Or is nothing sacred to the cinematic money-making machine?

In other news: ZOMG IRON MAN 2!!!

Source: IMDB of course!



Sharanya said...

It's interesting that you reviewed this film now coz I just finished watching The Pianist yesterday (yeah, finally) and it's such a contrast, the kind of films that we both have watched because although they deal with the same subject, their treatment of it is so very different.

Oh and, The Time Traveller's Wife has released here!!

Arielle said...

Obviously the movie got made by Hollywood, which means the Jews In Charge are okay with it. (I can say that because I'm Jewish, btdubs.)

Also, you have to see Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. I haven't seen Inglourious Basterds so I don't know how it stacks up, but RD and PF are SO MUCH BETTER than the Kill Bill franchise.

Pepito said...

Ah! I am so proud you lost your Tanrantino virginity! Definitely one of his better ones, but you MUST watch pulp fiction, it will rock your life.

Also mucho pleased with IM2. I am quivering in antici... pation.