A reviewer on imdb called Inglourious Basterds the ‘worst movie I’ve seen in a long time – avoid it at all costs’. Other responses have been equally disapproving, calling it “a transcendentally disappointing dud, in which Brad Pitt delivers his most charmless performance to date” and only appealing to long-time fans of QT, well to that I say b***s***. Because I have only ever seen three Tarantino films, this included, and can therefore hardly call myself a devoted admirer of his work, however I enjoyed Inglourious Basterds just as much as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Obviously all films are down to personal taste, what one person loves another may hate and that’s a universal truth of life, explaining the varied reactions to Quentin’s latest film but in my opinion this was a cinematic treat. I don’t really mind if QT is being self-indulgent if it produces entertainment like this. Violent and brutal? Yes. Dark and comical? Yes. Long? Yes. But without all these components I wouldn’t feel this was a Tarantino film.
Clearly this film is historically inaccurate; Hitler gets assassinated, but by spinning his own war drama fantasy there’s a tension not easily found in historical films. The digressional and conversational scenes are my favourite; sure they could be cut to half the size, but what would be the fun in that? Its outrageous and audacious, certainly unconventional and perhaps this combination with the whole Nazi/Jew context is what offends some critics.
The acting on show is truly top class Christoph Waltz, Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger outshine the likes of Brad Pitt with their performances, making their characters believable, whether it be idiosyncratic, vengeful or glamorous.
This is tense and thrilling, employing Tarantino’s trademark quirks such as the spaghetti western references at the beginning with the cuts from wide shot to close-up and the music score inspired by Morricone.
For me, nowadays, film is about defying conventions and creating something original, surprising and colourful. It may not be the masterpiece that Tarantino alluded to in the closing line, but its masterful and I certainly laughed out loud more times than I have in any comedy recently. Looks like I could become a QT fan after all.