Well, to be honest I sat down in the cinema not really knowing too much about this film. I shamefully hadn’t seen many trailers and I hadn’t read much about it but I knew it was a Tarantino film and that was all I needed to know. Gratuitous violence, dark comedy, amazing dialogue, and unforgettable characters to name just a few of the things I expected. Did it fulfil? Ooohhh yes.
To summarise the film, it’s basically all about revenge with three dividing plots that collide to make the epic end to the film. It starts with the slaughter of a group of Jews seeking refuge underneath a farmer’s house. The massacre is masterminded by the ‘Jew hunter’ himself Colonel Hans Landa, easily the most likeable character in the film which is surprising considering his mission to kill Jews. The dialogue between him and the farmer in the build up to the massacre is Tarantino at his best and it makes it one of my favourite scenes in the film, 20 minutes of suspense filled goodness topped with a massive dose of violence. Not all goes to plan though and one girl escapes Landa’s grasp and gets away.
Landas’ ultimate goal is to track down and kill The Basterds, a Jewish-American group of brute soldiers whose aim is to kill Hitler and scalp as many Nazi soldiers for the crimes they have committed. It is through them that you see the bulk of that gratuitous violence that Tarantino’s films are infamous for. Brad Pitt plays the role of your stereotypically acted, red neck American soldier who again is quite likeable and light-hearted considering the amount of violence in the film. The fact that they are likeable doesn’t make the comedic side of the film seem out of place and Brad Pitts delivery of his lines makes for some laugh out loud moments.
And then comes the one that got away, Shoshanna or Emmanuelle Mimieux as she is now known who now has her own revenge plot against the Nazi’s. Its how these three stories combine that makes the plot so intriguing. I won’t give away any more of the plot, you will want to watch it and appreciate it for yourself but I can assure you that you will appreciate it. It isn’t historically accurate but that isn’t the point. It’s refreshing to see a world war two film that isn’t all about one man single handedly winning the war and the brutality and the violence of the war must have had Tarantino creaming in his pants at the prospect of what he could do with this film.
I can honestly say that this is my second favourite film of his after Reservoir Dogs and I gladly put it up there with my favourite films of all time. I was gripped throughout and I know I keep mentioning it, but dialogue is the defining factor for me. I never thought I could be so entertained by two people having a 20 minute conversation but somehow he pulls it off. The ending is well thought out and extremely satisfying, you will understand what I mean when you see it. My only, and I mean ONLY problem with this film is Eli Roth. I am not a fan and it feels like he was in the film because Quentin did him a favour. He tries too hard and he just doesn’t really fit in with all of the other characters. But this is minor and simply and opinion, I’m sure others will disagree. It definitely didn’t make me enjoy the film any less and I would recommend this to any Tarantino fan and I challenge you not to like it.