Friday 1 February 2013

Inglorious Basterds

Bullseyes:  ② (out of 5)
Inglorious Basterds is one of those movies you’re supposed to like because it was made by Quentin Tarrantino.  And as we all know Quentin Tarrantino is cool, and Reservoir Dogs was a ‘game changer’ and Pulp Fiction was shear, ‘genius’ and, well - whatever.  I didn’t like it.  So there.
The problem I have with Inglorious Basterds is that I could never get behind the underlying premise - a re-imagining of the Second World War.  The second world war already happened.  We know what went down, that era has been movied and documented to death.  And most of the stories are amazing.  So why re-write them?  Can’t you just take a real story and film it, or else make something up from scratch?  How can you fictionalize certain fact?  Isn’t that what Creationists and religious nut-jobs do?  Hitler died alone in his bunker he didn’t die in a crowded movie theatre.  So why pretend otherwise?
I loved the acting - of course.  Again, I knew I had to, but that’s OK because I really did.  And I loved the craft of it.  Those long drawn out scenes, the subtle build-up of tension - The apple strudle!  The eyes under the floorboards…
Arr again!
In all those aspects I stepped back like everyone else and worshipped at the altar of the big goof.  And I was quite happy to cross myself, to genuflect - rapt as I was under the spell of Christoph Waltzs Jew Hunter.  Entranced by Melanie Laurent – the girl under the floorboards, the heart of the movie. 
But, alas - the film just didn't tie together.  For one thing the Nazi Hunters noted in the title hardly feature at all. And the relationship between Shosanna and the German sniper, Fredrick Zoller, which we’re supposed to despise, I guess, was actually - quite sweet.  I thought we might see some redemption in Zoller’s character, an admission of his flaws, a willingness to step into the light.  That would have been nice.  But no, he just got slaughtered like everyone else. 
In the end Inglorious bastards is flawed because it doesn’t ring true.  And that’s probably because it isn’t. 

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