Monday, 7 September 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Since Jackie Brown I've seen all of Quentin Tarantino's films at the cinema; it's always great to have them on DVD to watch afterwards, but given that the man is so in love with cinema it's always great to watch on the big screen. In a way, you know what you're going to get when you go to see a Quentin Tarantino film: you know not to take things at face value, you know that you're going to get some astonishing dialogue and you know that you're going to be entertained.

Inglourious Basterds did not disappoint. I've been meaning to go and see it for a few weeks now, carefully storing up the pleasure that I knew I would get from it. It's difficult to know where to begin... It is a brilliant film, a fantastic piece filled with great performances, the greatest being Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa, the 'Jew Hunter', a really wonderful, charming and evil creation - a performance that had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up every time that he came on screen. Brad Pitt is hilarious, his accent and delivery as the leader of the Basterds is pitch-perfect. The plot is faintly ridiculous, and as time goes on we realise more and more that this is not quite the real world - more than being a fiction, it is not a fiction set in the real Second World War - but the dialogue draws you in more and more, the tension in many scenes being so high as to be near unbearable (a scene where two of the Basterds and an undercover British agent try to evade the suspicions of an SS Officer is a high point).

The best film of the year for me is still Star Trek, but Inglourious Basterds now runs a close second for me - I'd been looking forward to it since Tarantino first started talking about it years and years ago, before Kill Bill came out I think - it wasn't what I was expecting, but a new Tarantino film never is. The first viewing of a Tarantino film is a rare and wonderful pleasure; while his films always reward repeat viewings, there is nothing that beats that exhilaration of seeing them for the first time, and if you haven't seen Inglourious Basterds yet then I would urge you to see it soon.

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