Is Inglourious Basterds a good movie

Once upon a time, these are the first words of the film, as a title on the screen. Then you see a fairy-tale landscape: lush meadows, cows, green hills stretching to the horizon - and a narrow, atypically high wooden farmhouse, as if painted by Edward Hopper. In addition, Ennio Morricone sounds, a piano plays a bar of Beethoven: For Elise. The farmer swings the ax, a bull owned by a man. Then he sees something on the road, his eyes narrow. Dust swirls up, a black car approaches, escorted by soldiers on motorcycles, swastika flags on the grille. France in 1941.

And finally you can take a closer look. The excitement of Cannes has fizzled out; all the major critics, the good, the bad and the perplexed, have spoken. The provocations of the film - comic violence versus Holocaust horror, baseball bats versus exploding Nazi skulls, Brad Pitt with the giant knife engraving swastikas in soldiers' foreheads, plus a historically shortened Second World War - all unchanged, the whole thing has even become a minute longer. So heretical one could ask whether one should even watch these "Inglourious Basterds" now. And the answer is: yes, absolutely. Because regardless of whether you love or hate the film - the reaction shouldn't be lukewarm in between. There is so much to discover in it.

Even this opening, for example: the lowered camera, the extreme staggering of the room, the Nazis, framed by the ax in the foreground, all of this is a theatrical quote. But the Italian spaghetti western that is conjured up here is itself a quote and great theater. Is that not too much? Sure, of course. Sure. So what? You have to get involved in this mood first: Happy. Redundant. Excessive. Carefree. Quentin Tarantino wields cinematic tautologies as if they were baseball bats. He knocks his audience over the head with it whenever he feels like it. And he's really in the mood.

But of course he is also strained. The man found, let's say with "Pulp Fiction", entry into the Olympus of the cinema by simply engaging the strict bouncer in an incredibly casual conversation about McDonald's and cops in Amsterdam. He was already inside and didn't know how himself. But up there they loved him, the constantly chattering nerd, he had the party of his life, he never wanted to leave again. Unfortunately, Olympus doesn't have season tickets. So Tarantino tries to gain access to the party with every new film. Every few years he prepares for an attack, in between he has to gather strength. "Inglourious Basterds" is his most massive attack to date.

Read on on page 2 to find out when things get serious.