Sunday, February 03, 2013

Inglourious Basterds

I was finally able to see Quentin Tarantino's war film Inglourious Basterds last night. I watched it from my small TV set, so it wasn't quite the experience it might've been. 

The film got some bad reviews here in Finland and I wasn't very eager to see it, since I'd hated Kill Bill 1 so much and was mildly bored with by Kill Bill 2 and Death Proof. But now that I liked Django Unchained a great deal, I thought I should see this. It's better than Kill Bill and Death Proof, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the Django film. I'm probably in minority here as far as Tarantino fans are concerned. 

Inglourious Basterds could've been ripped out of the headlines of vintage men's adventure mags: LUSTY FRAULEIN HELPED US DESTROY NAZI MOVIE THEATER! THEY ESCAPED THE NAZI DEATH CAMP WITH HUNDREDS OF KRAUT SCALPS! It's all done with great visual verve and great dialogue - Tarantino can really write a scene. They are sometimes a bit too long, but they are never boring. I should probably try to watch Kill Bill and Death Proof again... 

Tarantino's influences come from violent and even trashy European war movies and such. They are usually (or, shall we say, at times) incoherent and not very well made. Tarantino seems to maintain the incoherence, but makes everything else better than his predecessors. There's not much continuity or character development in Inglourious Basterds. There are only dozen to fifteen individual scenes in the whole film, into which mix Tarantino throws some comic-like flashbacks or ironic info dumps. The hell with continuity, says Tarantino. He goes for spectacle, not plot or story or any of that serious stuff. This is probably something some critics will never get and it will irritate them for years to come. 

And this is also the reason why I liked Django Unchained more than this: it's more a drama, more a story, it's no mere spectacle. But I did enjoy Inglourious Basterds in all its glorious silliness. 

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