Friday, October 02, 2009

Thoughts on Inglourious Basterds

Going into a QT film assures at least one thing - it will never be a staggeringly bad film. Which is not saying much but at least you know where you stand. Quentin Tarantino understands, and appreciates, badassery like few other directors do. Or to put it more accurately, Quentin's films and characters are more consistently badass than most other directors. My favorite bits in all his films are the digressions characters choose to take during key conversation pieces and how it all ends with almost poetic violence.

The opening scene in Inglourious Basterds is a classic instance of how to build up to a denoument which the audience already anticipates. From the moment the farmer hears the hum of the German motorbikes approaching you know serious evil is afoot and that people will die before the scene ends. But its the treatment of the scene that takes the breath away. And of course it helps if you have a character like Hans Landa to work with. Chrisopher Waltz approaches the character like a chemist would when performing a titration experiment. His affect on people around him (and the audience) is slow, assured, awe inspiring and eventually deadly.

Sylistically Inglourious Basterds is a departure from Kill Bill, infact almost its mirror image in the sense that KB was a series of set piece action sequences with sporadic bursts of dialogue where as IB is a series of conversation set pieces with intermittent spells of violence.

A nod especially to Melanie Laurent's Shoshanna who is hauntingly gorgeous in every frame she inhabits. The Basterds themselves were fun but, ironically, probably the weakest link in the film.