Inglourious Basterds Analysis

Inglorious Basters analysis that explores the plot and significance of details of the film. Unlike Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds wears its significance quite visibly on its sleeve. It is a Western in which the Nazis are the cowboys and the Basterds are the indians.

Inglourious Basterds Cover

Plot

The plot is a somewhat typical western plot but the mix up of the standard roles in Westerns gives it an interesting edge. The interesting thing about westerns is that the cowboys are portrayed as the good guys for the most part and the Indians (Native Americans) as the bad guys. In reality the cowboys were really cleansing native american ethnic groups in order to take their land. It is this idea that Tarantino appears to have latched onto in basically establishing the Basterds, who are comprised of a native american descendent and jews, as the Indians and the Nazi German army as the cowboys.

The film uses this to make a whole range of interesting statements about modern ideas of history and morality. The tale in the bar about King Kong and the story of African slaves. Hans Landa comparing the plot to kill Hitler to terrorism. The theme here is that when emotionally attached to an issue people view it very differently, as Hans Landa points out at the very begining in his discussion about the reaciton the farmer would have to a rat.

Characters

Shosanna Dreyfus

Melanie Laurent Inglourious Basterds

Shosanna Dreyfus, played by Mélanie Laurent, is arguably the primary protagonist of the film. As her family was killed at the start of the film by Hans Landa and his troops, she has grown to seek revenge against Germans and fiercely hates them. The idea with this is that she is becoming increasingly alike to them throughout the film.

Hans Landa

Inglourious Basterds Hans Landa

Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) is basically the sheriff trying to catch the outlaws. It is interesting that he is placed in the role of antagonist despite this and that his performance was considered villainous.

Perrier LaPadite

Perrier LaPadite

Perrior LaPadite is serving as the host to a Jewish family, hiding them from harm. However the moment they inconvenience him enough he abandons them to die. In a way he represents the wider Germany reaction to the treatment of the Jews.

Themes

Language Barriers

Inglourious Basterds Languages

Characters speaking different languages are used to get across the difficulty in understanding people from other cultures. This is used to very specific effect throughout the film as characters speak foreign languages, sometimes without subtitles. The only exception to this rule seems to be Hans Landa, who can speak all languages and as a result can understand the thinking of other characters. This leads to him unravelling the Basterd’s plot.

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