It was a lazy Friday afternoon, had dinner outside on Thursday, the day that reminded me I am older by a year. Friday afternoon is when I heard that the movie Inglourious Basterds, one most awaited movie had released. For me, it’s another cryptic presentation from the Tarantino’s factory…Man his movies are complicated for person of average intelligence like me to understand. Hindi movies on the contrary are a cake walk, no need to know history or the director is generally generous enough to take you back in time and add some painful songs which gives the audience a smoke/snack break. But since most of hindi movies hover around Love and sentiment, the audience need not apply their minds to understand the movie. Back to QT, he takes the audience for granted, he expects you to do your home work before you watch his movies. If he is dealing with easier plots then he will juggle around the scenes to complicate things and will expect you to understand the chronology and get the plot. After watching the champion’s trophy semi-finals thru the night, Saturday morning was a late rise. Had to beautify myself so I succumbed to the atrocities showered by a barber’s scissor on my head. By then had booked the tickets for the movie online. Just managed to reach the movie on time else I would need to watch it again cos in QT movies, the first scene plays a very important role and as such the movie is tough, with a missing detail, I would rather choose to walk out of the movie.
The film opens in 1941 with colonel landa arriving to interrogate a dairy farmer la padite. Guess a lot of work has gone into the making of the character Landa, he is sweet, cool, smiling but he is brutal and dangerous. The explanation to his transfer to France is because he can think like a Jew and hence he gets the name “The Jew Hunter”. His narration of an anecdote comparing a rat (Jew) and squirrel about possessing the same qualities but a subtle difference in treatment depicts the depth of his hatred to jews. Landa manages to break down LaPadite and locates the hiding place of the Jews underneath the floorboards. Only one out of the family manages to survive (Shosanna) who escapes to paris.
Meanwhile the Basterds, a team of American jews captained by Brad Pitt (Aldo Raine) is all set to start their journey. Their objective is to kill as many Nazi’s as possible. Every soldier in the regiment has a target of killing 100 Nazis. Their policy however is to spare a nazi and etch the swastika symbol on his forehead to spread the word about their existence. The british have a german (Bridget von Hammersmark) actress helping them achieve the objective of killing the Nazis and stopping the war with the support of the Basterds. Shosanna by then changes her identity to (Emmanuelle Mimieux) and gets to own a theatre in paris. QT has not revealed how this happens, some questions are better unasked. These are the initial developments of the plot. It all starts with the screening of a movie “Nations Pride” that captures the triumph of the Germans over the Americans in Italy. The movie stars the war turned hero Frederick Zoller who’s crush on Emmanuelle forces him to convince the director to shift the venue from the famous place of ritz to Emmanuelle’s cinema. On realizing that a lot of high ranking officers are going to gather on the premier night, she pledges revenge and her plan is to burn down the cinema when it’s packed with nazi officers. The british double agent is set to meet the Basterds in the basement of a French tavern for a rendezvous, unfortunately at the time of the meeting are a set of nazi soldiers who are celebrating the fatherhood of one of the fellow soldier. A gun battle resultant of the wrong gesture made leads to the killing of the Basterds and the british agent is shot in her leg. Colonel Landa inspecting the shoot sight recovers a pair of shoes from the sight that results in him getting suspicious of Bridget. Meanwhile, Aldo interrogating Bridget decides carry the mission forward along with two surviving Basterds as suicide bombers. Everything goes as planned till Bridget meets Col. Landa in the cinema. His suspicion of Bridget’s involvement in the shoot out at the tavern turns into reality when Bridget fails to convince him about her bandaged leg. Col. Landa kills bridget and orders the arrest of Aldo. By then the other two Basterds are already in the hall occupying their seat. Emmanuelle who plans to burn down the cinema along with her assistant has stocked up big chunks of nitrate film behind the screen. Nitrate films burn some X number of times faster than paper. The basic point here is if it burns it will kill all the people inside the hall. Emmanuelle records a short message inserts that piece in the movie that indicates the destiny of all the people inside the hall. Her assistant manages to lock all the doors from outside such that nobody escapes. Landa who arrests Aldo and the other british spy manages to strike a deal with Aldo’s commanding officer for his escape and an American citizenship along with other perks. Finally, the theater is burned down with all the people in it and the Basterds manage to blasts the dynamites. We have to assume that this will result in the stopping of war since the Adolf Hitler himself is present in the cinema at the time of its burning. The Basterds who enter the American border and who are suppose to arrest Col.Landa etch the swastika on his forehead and this closes the movie. One great thing about this movie is the attention to detail that QT manages to achieve. Brad Pitts dialogue are little difficult to comprehend. He has the southern American accent. I would have been benefited if the movie has the subtitles along with it (I failed to understand some conversations). I can always watch it again on DVD along with subtitles. The beauty about this movie is there are multiple dialects, multiple accents, history that cannot be contradicted and uniform objective “Revenge”. Anybody other than QT would not have done justice to this plot. Well, I think I like QT too much and I am biased. Brad Pitt who is a big star gels with the character brilliantly. Especially when he is pretending to be an Italian and tries to speak Italian to Col. Landa towards the end, one can easily make out from his expressions that all that he wants is to get into the hall and blast himself and doesn’t really care who is suspicious of him. Finally, if you look at it, this is not a plot that has consumed great deal of thinking, QT has picked a piece from history twisted and turned it to his convenience and maneuvered the character with great control and precision around the plot. The actors have done justice to their character. The music like all other QT movies is an asset. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and the movie did not result in a headache……