Inglourious Basterds is a Quentin Tarantino classic, a masterclass in master writing released in 2009. I won’t go into detail, assuming you wouldn’t click on this article without watching Inglourious Basterds because we’re nearly thirteen years late to talk about Inglourious Basterds.
The main character of Inglourious Basterds, Hans Landa, is played by beloved Austrian actor Christoph Waltz, who also starred in Django Unchained, which was released three years after Inglourious Basterds. Even though we are not used to seeing them in Hollywood movies, Europeans are played by Europeans in Inglorious Basterds. Diane Kruger, the most important example of which I hope you may know from the Golden Globe award-winning film of master director Fatih Akın, plays the German agent Bridget von Hammersmark. And, of course, Brad Pitt plays Apache Aldo, and Mélanie Laurent plays Shosanna Dreyfus, who we’ll talk about in more detail in a moment.
Now that I’ve given you enough information to refresh your mind, it’s time to address the scenes and details that you missed or need to reconsider that amazed me when I watched Inglorious Basterds.
1- Letting Shosanna Run
It is not necessary to mention what a disgusting person Hans Landa is, at the end of the day, he is a n*zi. However, from what I’ve read in Inglorious Basterds reviews and watched video essays, I think something’s been misunderstood.
When Hans Landa “the Jew Hunter” was questioning the poor french farmer, he explained to the french man that what makes him unique is that he thinks like a jew and that’s why he hunts them so easily. So he stated that he was too good at his job to let a poor little girl get away. This means that Shosanna did not escape, she was let go.
In some of the critiques I read on behalf of Inglorious Basterds, some claimed that Hans Landa allowed Shosanna to escape because, as Hans had pointed out to the French farmer, he considered Shosanna as worthless as a rat. However, when we watch Inglorious Basterds carefully and scan Hans Landa’s scenes thoroughly, we see that the only purpose of the dialogue he establishes with every person he encounters is to investigate them without warning. As Tarantino said in his interviews, the first thing that comes to mind about Hans Landa is that he is a detective. He left Shosanna because he needed a reason to return, investigate, and kill.
Additionally, his letting her run away from me is more reflective of a power move or a God complex. He enjoys the feeling of being able to dictate who lives and dies with the wave of his hand. That’s why Aldo (Brad Pitt) marks him at the end of the movie as the ending point of Hans Landa. Because now Hans will never again be the person who investigates, and even with his charisma and intelligence, he cannot escape the evilest scenarios.
2- Hans Landa has no personality
This might be why Quentin Tarantino called Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds an “unplayable character”.
In the opening scene of Inglorious Basterds, Hans tells the French farmer how proud and happy he is with the nickname given to him. However, in one of the Inglorious Basterds’ final scenes, where he interrogates Aldo and Utivich, Hans Landa tries to make Aldo accept that his nickname was unimportant and worthless.
In the first scene, he needed to seize power and intimidate, but in the second scene, he had to empathize and act sympathetically. Yes, this is just playing by the rules, but throughout Ingloruis Basterds, we watched Hans Landa change his emotions and personality almost every five seconds as he interrogates someone. That’s what got Christopher Waltz the Oscar.
3- The Bear Jew Smacking the Na*i’s Head
You may remember the scene where the Bear Jew smacked the na*zi soldier who, despite everything, did not surrender in that pit where the Basterds caught the enemies to death.
After hearing the name of The Bear Jew (Donny Donowitz), heroic music starts playing in the background. Approaching the nazi soldier with a fierce but slow harmony, the glorifying and heroic music suddenly stops when the Bear Jew hits the enemy, because, in the end, nothing is glorifying about death.
4- “Osmanien” ?!?!? in Inglorious Basters Literally Makes No Sense
I don’t know what to say about this. WW2 took place from 1939 to 1945. The Ottoman Empire was dissolved in 1922. In a big-budget movie like Inglorious Basterds, where many people control even the smallest details, no one has been able to turn around and say that there is no such thing as an Osmanien anymore.
5- The Bar Mission
Yes, yes, I know everyone has talked about this Inglorious Basterds scene over and over. However, there are so many details.
The detail that caught my eye in this scene from Inglorious Basterds was when Bridget von Hammerscmick and his fellow soldiers met, the camera was hidden behind the bar as if it was listening to something it shouldn’t have. I think that the reason why we felt fear during that brief moment when they had their short secret conversation until the Nazi soldier arrived may be because the camera was placed behind the bar.
There’s a lot to talk about Inglorious Basterds because when you watch Inglorious Basterds, a lot is going on in your mind. Although it is not very much about Inglorious Basterds, I would like to end this article by asking a question that comes to my mind every time I watch a war movie.
Will Hollywood ever make movies like Inglorious Basterds for the Murders of Afghan, Iraqi, or Syrian children?