Right from the engrossing opening scene, Inglourious Basterds lets you know it means business. The masterfully done directing and acting paves the way for an absolute nail-biter of a 20-minute intro scene. It doesn’t end there, however. Throughout the movie, there are several very intense scenes, including the restaurant and basement-pub sections, which keep the film exciting and mesmerizing the whole way through. The intensity throughout is complimented by Tarantino’s fantastic dialogue writing. Contrasting this intensity, however, is plenty of satire and dark-humor which has no place working as well as it does.
The acting, on every level, is absolutely perfect. Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, and Brad Pitt all deliver career-defining performances. Beyond that, however, is the flawless supporting cast. Roles like Denis Ménochet as farmer Perrier LaPadite and Martin Wuttke as Adolph Hitler are extremely captivating. You can very seldom find a cast with so many standout performances where no characters seem undeveloped or under-utilized.
The way the story comprises of chaptered sections makes for a very clean story structure. It also helps the several separate stories coexist and eventually cross over in the narrative seamlessly. The ending is equal parts unexpected, shocking, and deeply satisfying; no other finale has made me want to laugh maniacally as much as this did. Not only that, it works as a great metaphor for the power that cinema can have and how much it can change the world.
Although not quite as acclaimed as Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds could very well be viewed as Tarantino’s best film in the not-so-distant future.
Overall review: 10/10