When this film was released in 2009, I never went to see it at the theatre. I’m not sure why not; it could be my predilection for avoiding anything to do with misspellings. Some research has told me that director Quentin Tarantino has admitted the misspelling without explanation. That aside, I thought it was time I had a look at it.
This film has been described as an “alternate history” story. Brad Pitt playing the role of a southern redneck, Lieutenant Aldo Raine, out for vengeance against the cruel Nazi “Jew-haters”, takes some getting used to. His accent is at first unbelievable and his insistence that his team of guerrillas take scalps from their victims is just gross. Those they allow to live have a swastika carved into their forehead so they will be forever identified with the Nazis. The role played by Christopher Waltz, unofficially called the Jew Hunter, is a more educated, more civilized version of Raine but equally deadly, equally cruel.
The story is put together in “chapters” that eventually all connect as different people from earlier chapters seek revenge. The premier of an important propaganda movie, Nation’s Pride, celebrating a German war hero provides the venue for two separate plots to kill as many SS officers as possible along with Hitler at an important to come together. Events conspire to keep you in suspense as to whether the plots will succeed. The only likeable people in the movie end up dead, partially due to sloppy clean-up and partially due to sentimentality.
Watching the English subtitles was a bit trying at times. I guess at home I’m used to doing other things while watching movies and in this one, there were times I didn’t want to see what they were doing. (Scalping victims, smashing them to death with a baseball bat — done in a way that trivialized it — not my thing.) I think this is probably the only Brad Pitt movie I haven’t liked. One site reviewing the movie quoted a critic as saying it might require a second look. I don’t think I’d bother.
Rod Taylor as Churchill was really good as was Martin Wuttke who played Hitler. I thought the machine gunning of the people locked inside the theatre was over the top. I should have stuck to my first instinct based on the misspelling of the title and saved myself the disappointment. * *
Mélanie Laurent plays the role of Shosanna, an escaped Jew who witnessed the death of her family at the hands of Col. Landa