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Giving the Nazis a dose of their own medicine.....
Jul 06, 2014 05:26 PM 2178 Views
(Updated Jul 17, 2014 11:36 PM)





Countless movies have been made on World War 2 in the past, mainly by American and European filmmakers.And there is a reason for it.Firstly, it has been the most destructive war till date, killing more people than ever, and secondly the mass crimes inflicted on humanity, mainly on certain races, ethnic groups or communities due to inhuman ideologies underlying them. How can one forget the "Holocaust", the deliberate slaughter of 6 million Jews as well as other ethnic groups by Hitler and his Nazis, following their policy of racial purity.

One such individual who has decided to make a fictitious movie out of this real life world event is world renowned Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, who has directed movies such as Reservoir Dogs and the Kill Bill series. Inglorious Basterds, released in the year 2009, this movie is about a bunch of American Jewish soldiers named the' Basterds' headed by Brad Pitt, whose sole aim is to exact revenge on and kill as many Nazis they find.

Plot:- The movie begins in the year 1940, with German SS Colonel Hans Landa(Christopher Waltz) visiting the residence of Monseiur LaPedite, a farmer at his dairy farm, in the French countryside.The purpose is to gain information since he is suspected of hiding Jews at his residence.After a brief interrogation, LaPedite is forced to confess that he is sheltering the Jewish family named Dreyfaus' under his floorboards.Landa, cunningly, orders his troops to enter the house and machine guns the family underneath, killing all except one, Shosanna(Melanie Laurent), who escapes and would later become the brainchild in conspiring a deadly plot against the Nazis.

The next scene shifts to Lt Aldo Raine(Brad Pitt) addressing his special task force of eight Jewish American soldiers to infiltrate enemy lines once they're dropped in France, dressed as civilians and slaughter as many Nazis, to cause immense fear and terror among German soldiers. Raine also gives each of them a task to scalp the heads of 100 dead Nazis or else they would die in failing to do so.

A young soldier named Private Butz meets Adolf Hitler and narrates the tale of how the Basterds ambushed his squad and their General Werner was beaten to death by one of the Basterds, Sergeant Donny Donowitz, (Eli Roth) also known as The Bear Jew for refusing to divulge information on German positions.Butz, under fear reveals the required information and survives, but according to Raine, once he takes off his Nazi uniform, no one would know that he was a Nazi and he carves a swastika mark on his forehead with his knife, which would be a permanent symbol to prove otherwise.A frustrated Hitler orders him to not utter even one word about the cruelty of the Basterds.

Four years later, in 1944, Shosanna meets ace German Sniper Frederick Zoller(Daniel Bruhl)masquerading under the name of Emmanuele Mimieux to hide her true identity, who is owning a cinema of her own.She later convinces him that she would be hosting a premiere for the German movie Nation's Pride which would be attended by all the top senior leaders of the German High Command.Her aim is to destroy the entire Nazi high command at this premiere by burning it down.

This brings the attention of Joseph Goebbels and Hans Landa and they move forward into the idea.

Simultaneously, the British High Command too is conspiring to 'blow up the Nazis' at the cinema premiere along with former German movie star Bridget Von Hammersmark(Diane Kruger), who is working for England since 2 years.Lt Archie Hicox(Michael Fassbender) is selected for this plan codenamed Operation Kino to co-ordinate with Von Hammersmark and the Basterds to reach the movie premiere, posing as German movie stars.Hicox meets the Basterds in a french village and later he along with Bridget and a couple of the Basterds, including ex German sergeant Hugo Stiglitz meet other German troops enjoying a liquor and games party in the basement, but his antics soon get exposed by Gestapo general Hellstrom, who finds out that he is not German, which results in all of the troops firing at each other and only Bridget survives in the end to carry out the further plan.

As multiple groups plot and conspire against the Nazis, the big question arises'Who would be successful in the end'?. Would it be Shosanna or the Basterds along with Bridget von Hammersmark? Or would both fail?

Direction/Performances/LocationsQuentin Tarantino has the honour of multiple awards for direction and screenplay, including multiple Golden Globe, Cannes Film festival and BAFTA awards.He has managed to portray authenticity into every aspect of this film, especially the performances of all the actors, locations and situations.Intensity was something which was done with ease .The zeal of the'Basterds' in striking back at the Nazis was an important aspect, which formed the crux of the plot.

Almost all the actors gave their best into the movie.Brad Pitt, as Lt Raine, playing the leader of the gang with his late 19th Century American accent(not sure whether it was'cowboy' or any related accent) was terrific and sheer ruthlessness to a small extent was shown in his attitude. Melanie Laurent, a French actress makes her first international debut in this movie. She played Shosanna convincingly well as a girl whose sole aim is to exact vengeance on the Nazis.Christopher Waltz(German/Austrian actor) as SS Colonel Hans Landa was almost the next best as his character required the cunning and intelligence of a hawk to sneak out Jews and other anti German elements.He somehow gets aware of the devious plots of people he meets, as if he literally has the ability of reading through people's minds.His scenes with the Basterds as well as Bridget Von Hammersmark towards the end seems the most interesting.

The 'Basterds' played by actors such as Eli Roth, the Bear Jew who beats Nazis with a baseball bat, or those playing characters such as Hugo Stiglitz, Utivich, Vicky and others looked quite dramatic.

Diane Kruger, a German actress who has starred in Hollywood movies such as Troy and National Treasure gave a great performance as Bridget Von Hammersmark, another major conspirator in the plot.Daniel Bruhl as reknowned German sniper and actor, Zoller gave me memories of the typical German soldier's look in the second World War.His soft centredness towards Shosanna and his performance in the movie as an actor in'Nations pride' was good.

Other characters such as Michael Fassbender as Archie Hicox and the actors playing LaPedite, Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, British General, Winston Churchill, Private Butz, German General Werner or Shosanna's negroid boyfriend Marcel were good.The entire movie was shot in France, mainly the French countryside to give the authenticity of the war era.

Dialogues:-One of the most interesting aspects of the movie would be the dialogues, specially those delivered by Brad Pitt and Christopher Waltz. Waltz' role as the cunning General Landa has some excellent dialogues delivered, especially during the beginning phase of the movie with Monsieur LaPedite, the French farmer, explaining and possibly brainwashing him about Nazi ideologies.

Perhaps the most impressive dialogue delivery was when Pitt addresses his troops about their mission.

Overall:-Inglorious Basterds is an interesting action flick where the plot from the beginning till the end would keep you under grips.This is especially true if one is a World War 2 enthusiast.It best needs to be watched with friends, since certain violent or gory scenes in the movie are not advisable to watch with kids or family members.The movie's cinematography, along with the music and scenes are quite different or apart from other Hollywood movies.

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