*If you haven’t seen the film yet, this review will give away some of the plot – just a wee warning.
When recently viewing Tarantino’s new hit, “Inglorious Basterds”, my boyfriend and I had mixed feelings about the film. After the excitement and anticipation of what seemed like it would be a fun quirky typical Tarantino film, we left the theatre confused and bewildered.
The film contained blunt dark humour, the kind that is popular of course. Just sitting there you could tell which lines of the film would be repeated long after the film and subsequently be inducted into classic “film phrase reperatoire”. It’s really difficult to knock a film that may be the next ‘big thing’, however, there were some knockworthyable parts of the film.
The premise that the film is based on, that being there must be revenge against Nazis, it is to say the least, questionable. Firsty, let me define “revenge” within the context of the film. Revenge included: bloody sclaping of Nazis with the requirements to bring back a certain number of Nazi scalps, batting heads off Nazis, “tatooing” the swastika on the foreheads of Nazis with a knife, locking a large group in a burning room, shooting them while they scream for their life.
Hmmm. What do those images remind you of? Perhaps the exact same things that the Nazi’s did to the Jews.
Tarantino’s highly bloody, violent and adrenaline-based approach to exterminating the Nazi’s sat awkwardly, as it posed the question: Is revenge going to solve the problem? Looking at the current situation with the war in Iraq, it is sure that the United States has suffered severe implications from their invasion into Iraq. How did it help? Kill more American lives? Because that is what the purpose of the mission was to do to begin with – kill more American lives, rather than protect. The acts of revenge toward Nazi’s may express anger and hostility to a dictatorship that promoted and acted out anti-semitic crimes, yet will they erase the harm that was done in the beginning? The Holocaust is something not to be re-lived and furthermore, the Holocaust is reminder of the darkest extreme humanity was capable of reaching and an extreme that is to be avoided. I may be wrong, but this film glorifies and rationalizes these very acts that came to torture people, destroy families and express hate toward a specific group of people. The film also supports these acts as being in one way or another ‘successful’ in order achieve justice.
Tarantino’s justification of revenge in ‘Inglourious Basterds’ is most certainly one that strikes concern. Personally, it is more sad, that the road travelled to seeking peace is through revenge. Perhaps, I’m not one to speak, as I have not lost a family member or close one in the Holocaust, therefore making me unable to understand the anger toward the Nazi dictatorship. But I do know that the promotion of Holocaust-related acts of violence as a means of revenge is demeaning and disrespectful to the dark history of the Holocaust. To see these acts conducted toward others in a childish and humorous fashion was most distasteful and to put bluntly, wrong.