Inglourious Basterds

Why don’t hindi movies come up with supercool names like “Inglourious Basterds” ? The name itself promises so much – evil men, lot of wickedness ….
(Though its never quite explained why the bastards are called Inglourious – or why they are spelled in that way)

Maybe its lesser directors who bother about tying all ends neatly in their movies - Tarantino and his ilk just make up really wicked crazily cool movies – and leave us enraptured. Havent heard anyone complain so far about lack of background story for Lt. Aldo Raine or his men – or anyone for that matter. Most of it is certainly his style of moviemaking – moving from cut to cut with big jumps in the story. And to be honest – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Inglorious Basterds in one hell of a gripping movie.

The movie has two main plots – first is Lt. Aldo Raine , an American officer who parachutes into German occupied France, with a chosen group of Jewish subordinates – to wage guerrilla warfare and terrorize the Nazi soldiers with their brutality. The second is Shosanna Dreyfuss, a French Jew whose family was wiped out by the SS Colonel Hans Landa, nicknamed ‘Jew Hunter’ and who in living in Paris under a new identity. Then there are substantial sideplots - German movie star Bridget von Hammersmark, who is a British agent, Lt. Archie Hicox, a German-speaking English commando sent into France to execute Operation Kino and Pvt. Frederick Zoller, a Nazi war hero who is acting himself in the celluloid version of his feat.

Each of these stories are introduced separately, and each of them are intriguing on their own. The first sequence especially, is an awesome indicator of what is to come. It’s a excruciatingly polite conversation between Colonel Hans Landa and a French farmer in his house – which slowly but surely, tightens the screw on the farmer without him realizing where the conversation was going. There is no violence – just the subtly menacing Hans Landa, played brilliantly by Christopher Waltz (won Best Actor at Cannes this year)

And this intensely thrilling conversation style appears once more in the pub cellar full of Nazis. This one’s tension is so mindblowing, everyone in the hall was squirming in their seats !!

The climax is the premiere of the latest German propaganda movie called Nation’s Pride – where all these characters converge, some unknowing to each other. And its only during this stage that the screenplay slips just a wee bit – and you start muttering ‘c’mon do it’. But then it does happen and it takes your breath away with this audacity – you just didn’t see it coming !!

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