Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tarantino’s Basterd

Inglourious Basterds 2009
Directed By Quentin Tarantino

They're certain aspects of a Quentin Tarantino movie that you expect to get before you even walk into the theater:

1. His use of dramatic music
2. The 4 sequence breakdown
3. His long camera shots full of lengthy poetic dialog
4. Disturbingly funny violence

The way he neatly weaves in humor and violence together some would say lacks sensitivity but I find it absolutely beautiful. Tarantino not taking himself too seriously in these very serious situation makes for a wonderful juxtaposition. So when I found out he was making a Nazi movie with Brad Pitt I just knew I was in for special treat.

What's interesting to me about this movie is that most of the dialog is not in English which I think is important to the story. During the first scene of the movie with Colonel Hans Landa (Christopher Waltz) of the Waffen-SS, proudly known as the "Jew Hunter", interrogating Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet), a French dairy farmer, over rumours that he had been hiding a Jewish family. Landa. Colonel Hans sole purpose for speaking to Perrier in English is to prevent the family from listening to the conversation. This seems like such a simple detail, but not many films carry that same respect for the language barrier. I enjoy the way Tarantino takes his time with this scene sets the tone of the movie.

I also love the way Tarantino creates rich female characters by allowing them to have strong and powerful personalities but keeping their vulnerability. Women in his films don't get spared the dirty violence and I think that’s a testament of him having the same type of respect for women in his films as he does for men. There is a scene with Shosanna Dreyfus played by Melanie Laurent where she keeps her composure as she eats dessert with the man who killed her family. Col. Hans Landa grabs her hand, making her wait for the cream to put on her pastry. The way Tarantino builds up the suspense, with his use of close-up shots and dramatic music, grabbing her hand seems just as terrifying as if he had slit her throat. As the viewer, you wait for the moment that she cracks.

Many people asked me if it had a lot of violence and for me its not really about how much, but how the violence is being used. I think Tarantino uses violence to tell the story, not shock value. I really enjoyed this movie, and if you are a Quentin Tarantino fan, you will leave the theater feeling satisfied.

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