Not Just a Blood Bath: Inglourious Basterds Review
Don’t go to see Inglourious Basterds expecting two and a half hours of non-stop Nazi slaughtering. That’s not what this film is about (well, not totally), and let’s remember it’s Tarantino we’re talking about here.
The story is Quentin Tarantino’s fictional retelling of World War II, and the movie is brought to life by an amazing cast and fierce directing. There are so many characters in the film, all of them memorable and integral to the plot in some way. This is due in part to excellent acting (Brad Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, and Christoph Walt, just to name a few), but it’s Tarantino’s innate ability to create such well-drawn characters that makes this movie work.
Like a true novelist, QT sees the whole picture. Fans went in wanting a Kill Bill pt. 1-esque bloodbath, but Inglourious Basterds unfolds like a really good, epic book. And not just because it has chapters.
Tarantino is most definitely a writer first, director second. He’s the God of dialog, something screenwriting classes have always taught me to avoid. But it’s the dialog that adds suspense to the film and deepens the layers of the plot. I’ve heard Tarantino liken the tension in the film’s tavern scene to a rubber band being stretched as far as it can go before snapping.
The tension in that scene, and throughout the film, is created through good storytelling. He engages you, and the film plays out like a long, delicious beef stew. The ending of IB was one of the most rewarding I’ve ever seen and it wouldn’t have been nearly as satisfying if the entire film was intense bloodshed.