“Inglorious Basterds” proves to be another dose of genius from Tarantino

Chandy Clemens

Walking into a Quentin Tarantino film, it’s wise to expect the unexpected. With every new entry, Tarantino continues to prove himself a force to be reckoned with, a man unafraid of rebelling from the general mainstream, and sticking the finger to any naysayers weary of his approach to film (Tarantino publicly gave the finger to a woman booing ‘Pulp Fiction’ at the Cannes film festival).

“Inglorious Basterds” is another dose of his genius, one that brings the “wow” factor to a subatomic level and metamorphoses Tarantino into an exemplar of modern cinema.

Set during the penultimate year of WWII, a division of Jewish soldiers, known as “the basterds” to all fearing German Nazis, wish to end the war and exact bloody vengeance on Third Reich hide for all their massacred Jewish brethren. “The Basterds” are led by Lieutenant Aldo Rain (a likable, dually comical Brad Pitt).

Aldo is a subtly demented good-guy hitched with an extreme Tennessee twang (Pitt’s best deadpan moment comes when he attempts to say Bonjourno with a legitimate Italian accent to no avail). As their commander, Aldo gives orders that “the basterds” must collect the scalp of every Nazi they kill and collaboratively gather 100 Nazi scalps.

Meanwhile, Shoshanna Dreyfus (the outstanding french beauty Melanie Laurent), the sole survivor of her family executed by Nazis a few years previous, quietly operates her own cinema in the heart of Paris under a faux identity.

Her cinema becomes a center-spot of attention for the premiere of a new German propaganda film, called “Nations Pride,” when the film’s lead, Frederick Zoller (Daniel Bruhl), catches her attention passing by.

The piece de resistance, however, comes when Adolf Hitler decides he will be in attendance at the premiere, along with a multitude of other pivotal figures in the Third Reich such as Colonial Hans Landa (a brilliantly malicious Christoph Waltz) who instigated the execution of Shoshanna’s family.

Shosanna conspires to exact bloody retribution on the Nazis with a plan to end the war the night of the premiere. Simultaneously, as do the “basterds.” The plot of both parties intersect beautifully for one of the most electrifying and enthralling finales ever captured on screen, an ending you wish could be true, but an ending only Tarantino could possibly be capable of generating.

At the end of it all, surgery may be a necessity for your jaw that just hit the floor. Tarantino, alongside a few other master artisans of the film trade, never lets down on the delivery of his films, nor ever let’s up on being exceptional.

His dialogue sizzles. His character’s crackle. His music choices are impeccable (who else would use “Cat People” by David Bowie in a WWII film); the outlandish, but wildly entertaining scenario’s he comes up with are all I could ever ask for in a movie.

With “Inglorious Basterds,” he isn’t too keen on being historically accurate. Nor does he need too be. This is Quentin Tarantino’s version of war, if you forgot, and man was it glorious.