First up, I love Inglourious Basterds. It was funny, exciting, clever, original, and Hitler died at the end. It was a period piece, a spaghetti western, a fairytale, a black comedy, and a violent gangster film. And Hitler didn’t just die, he was pulped by a thousand bullets smashing into his face, fired from a gun held by Eli Roth. Fucking golden.
So now you know my opinion, but what does that mean? Nothing really, so I’ve decided to go through the most used criticism against it and explain why I feel the the people making these criticisms have completely missed the point of an utterly genius film. Kthx.
I’m going to start with the minor complaint of “wah wah, not historically correct, wah”. Mostly because a friend of mine used it quite recently. This to me is a ridiculous complaint. I’m going to use an obscure film reference to illustrate my point:
There’s a rilly-rilly-great film called Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. It’s an absurdist piece written by Tom Stoppard, all about the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet (if you need more incentive to watch it, it stars Gary Oldman and Tim Roth). At the beginning of the film, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are betting on coin flips. Rosencrantz bets heads each time and wins ninety-two flips in a row. They run into a troupe of tragedians and are offered the opportunity to take part in a show (for a price). Standing on the stage, Guildenstern makes a bet with the The Player that if the coin comes up heads, they get the show for free. It comes up tails.
What’s my point again? Oh yeah, its the same as the point Stoppard was trying to make. On the stage (or in film) anything is possible. So if anything is possible, why the hell would someone like Quentin Tarantino write a WW2 story that didn’t involve killing Hitler? In order for it to be historically correct, QTs characters would need to have had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the war. But that goes directly against the characters he created! Personally, one of the biggest reasons I loved the movie so much is BECAUSE it was taken into the realm of fantasy. If we can’t watch Hitler getting his comeuppance in a movie, the what the hell are movies for? At this point, the naysayers usually change their tune to “wah, wah, but kids will start to think it’s fact, wah”. That’s not a criticism of this movie, that’s a criticism of the education system. Please direct your complaints there. If Tarantino was actively trying to pass the film as fact, then I could understand this complaint, but he isn’t. The title of the first chapter is “Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France…”. How stupid are your children?
So, that’s the end to Part Eins. Tune in later for my discussion on the criticism that the film is anti-German.