This Easter break I finally watched a surprisingly good movie by the name of “Inglourious Basterds”. Nope, that’s not a spelling mistake, it’s the actual title of Quentin Tarantino’s latest masterpiece. At first glance, a film about World War 2 – it is not really about World War 2 at all. Instead, it presents another slice of Tarantino’s twisted brilliance. From Brad Pitt’s wonderfully idiotic portrayal of the American Lieutenant (with a forced Tennessee accent and a Brando-esque moustache), to the surprise of seeing Mike Myers actually doing a quasi-serious role for a change, to the beauties gracing the silver screen (Melanie Laurent and Diane Kruger).
I have saved the best for last. Whoever has not yet seen Christoph Waltz’s amazing, multi-faceted role as SS Colonel Hans Landa, needs to do so at ONCE. Not since Commodus (in Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator”) has there been a screen villain more fascinating to watch. Below are two of his moments of brilliance (though one has to watch the whole film to really appreciate their brilliance):
I think Tarantino is mocking the whole thing, and he is especially mocking the Nazis precisely by making Landa so eloquent and excentrical. He’s not your typical, Hollywood-portrayed stone faced officer (neither is Brad Pitt’s character, for that matter, who plays an even bigger moron). They are both clowns, in their own way. That’s why, to me, that movie wasn’t even about World War 2 or Nazi Germany specifically – but about the perversity and absurdity of human nature in general. And all done with charm and a smile on the face. That’s my impression of what Tarantino was trying to achieve. Until next time (in the words of Col. Landa):
“Au revoir, Shoshanna” 🙂
PS. I hope this post will be taken in the spirit that it is meant (ie. a comment and appreciation of Christoph Waltz’ artistic performance). I do not, in any way, approve of what the character he plays stands for.