Quentin Tarantino: A Basterd All His Own

Quentin Tarantino: A Basterd All His Own

Fronting for an international cast, Quentin Tarantino has gone and upped the ante in his career long chase of Sergio Leone and whatever a perfect revenge film might be. A quick look back at Tarantino’s earlier work finds many of the same concepts being hashed out in various scenarios all the way from Reservoir Dogs to Kill Bill (choose one). The consistent ability of the director to revitilize these similar tropes in each one of his works is either a testament to his tunnel vision, or maybe just his vision. Viewers haven’t been given a Hamlet as of yet, but we’re getting close.

Clocking in at about two and a half hours, one could figure simply from that fact that Inglourious Basterds and its expansive plot would have a bit of everything. And while it appears at times that no one was in the room as this film got edited together in order to tell Tarantino that viewers might not need to watch Christoph Waltz’s well played character drink two glasses of milk, the confluence of each different plot piece eventually makes this Nazi hunting flick nothing short of entertaining for the chosen people and goyim – even if tickets nowadays cost nine dollars.

The narrative follows the story of a girl, Shoshana, being hidden from her would be Nazi captures. And as she escapes, only to turn up four years on under the guise of a theater owner, the character maintains a pensive attitude that makes some of her scenes come off as heavier than even Tarantino could have hoped for. The one odd aspect to the character – and this is undoubtedly a result of the film being edited – is her relationship with her black employee. At times it seems as if the duo are only friends while others they seem friendly, if you catch my drift. Inglorious Basterds, while having a bit of everything, doesn’t have a love sub-plot. If included, though, it would have simply become burdensome to wrap up in some sort of timely manner prior to the massacre that is intended for the climax of this all.

The rest of the flick is given over to Brad Pitt aping a hilarious southern accent and coaxing it out of his mustachioed upper lip. Pitt’s interactions with not just his crew of Nazi killers, but with the enemy themselves is the comedic levity needed in a film with such an unerringly serious topic.

While Pitt pulls off that comedy with aplomb, Eli Roth (the director of the Saw franchise) does a decent job portraying the “Jew Bear,” who gets the pleasant task of smashing in the faces of a few captive Nazis. His performance probably won’t get him out in front of the camera too frequently, but it was all solidly delivered from a non-actor. B.J. Novak (Ryan from the US version of The Office) didn’t fair quite as well, duffing a few lines while in the presence of Waltz’s Jew Hunter character towards the end of the narrative. Novak, though, did make it to the end of the film. And in such a graphically bloody effort, that should count for something.