Sunday, 10 November 2013

'' A Basterd's work is never done ''

               In 2009, Inglorious Basterds was released. This movie by Quentin Tarantino is considered by many as a masterpiece. The plot is actually a western that takes place in the occupied France by the Nazis during the World War II. The name of the first chapter is 'Once Upon a Time in occupied France', which is a clear reference to Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. The story of the film is composed of different plots that find each other at some point. The main one is the 'Inglorious Basterds' : a group of non-official Jewish soldiers under the orders of Lt. Aldo Raine, and they have one mission, which is killing Nazis in the cruelest way possible. There is also the story of Shoshanna Dreyfus, a Jewish girl that escaped from death when the Colonel Hans Landa (a.k.a. the Jew Hunter) killed all her family that was hiding in a French's home. She will go to Paris, and work in a movie theater that she will own at the owner's death. 

Even if this movie takes place in a historical context, there is no pretension of making it real. This is NOT a documentary of the WWII, it is a fictional story that shows how the war should have ended according to Tarantino. What makes this movie interesting is : the perfection of the script, as some scenes are just long conversations where there is no action, but it never gets boring ; the analogy between this movie and a classic western film ; and the filming techniques which reveal Tarantino's talent of making movies. 

This movie can be clearly related to the notion of power in many different ways. The most obvious one is the military power, as we see the strength of these armed american soldiers fighting the Nazis, and organizing their forces and strategies. We can see as well the power of media, which is the one the Basterds use to scare the Nazis, as they appear on the newspaper whenever they make an assault. They get to build a hole reputation between the Germans, and that is what gives them strength, The rumors is also a theme that appears repeatedly in the movie, which can be considered as a form of power. These rumors are the names that each soldier receives from the enemy. Aldo Raine is called the Apache, as he makes his soldiers scalp their victims. The colonel Hans Landa is called the Jew Hunter. Many names are given, as the reputation of each character grows in the movie. The power of media is also shown by the presence of Joseph Goebbles, minister of propaganda in Germany at the time, which makes a movie called The Nation's Pride, that deals with the story of Frederick Zolla, a german soldier that killed around 300 soldiers all by himself.  This theme is ridiculed as the movie is just a compilation of violent scenes of Zolla, which interprets the character in the movie himself.

Finally, we can also talk about the power of the director, Tarantino, which owns a special power : the power of changing the past. This is a movie, so the director is completely allowed to change what happened, and do it the way he wants it to be. And that is what makes the movie amazing, even it raised some controversial themes, and some people did criticize the movie for treating such a delicate theme as the WWII in a humorous way. Anyway, this is certainly his masterpiece up to this point of his career. 

1 comment:

  1. A very judicious choice, Alex.
    It will probably come as a surprise to you but I have not seen this Tarantino movie, so I'm looking forward to discovering it through your oral presentation...