The Holocaust–LOL or FML?

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I’ve blogged about it more than any other movie that’s come out this year. Hell, I don’t even really love movies that much! But last night, putting my money where my mouth is, I saw Inglorious Basterds.

By the way, while I’m not going to spoil the ending, or divulge too much plot, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and plan to, you may or may not want to continue reading. So, Spolier-ish Alert, at your own risk.

basterds.jpg The movie was good. Don’t get me wrong. It was a complete and utter fantasy, but still good. Watching Jews kill and torture Nazis at every turn, in some respects, can feel redeeming. To use on old cliche, if you could go back in time, would you go and kill Hitler? Kind of the same feelings I got in the movie.

But here is my critique. Even though the movie has barely any Holocaust imagery, with no concentration camps, death marches, etc., this is still a Holocaust film. While the movie focuses on the war effort, namely Americans vs. Germans, it is actually a movie about Jews vs. Nazi oppressors. The only reason the “Basterds” are so cruel in their warfare is to exact revenge on the Germans who tried (and were still trying) to wipe out the Jewish population of Europe.

Which brings me to what I actually want to talk about. There were some witty, even a couple laugh out loud lines in the movie. And the crowd in the theatre was just eating it all up.

Now I’m not necessarily against laughing during a Holocaust movie. Take Life Is Beautiful, for example. What makes that movie all the more powerful as a Holocaust film is that it’s funny. That even a funny man could not escape the horrors of the Holocaust.

But the humor in Basterds is different. The humor is in the film for the sake of being witty and Hollywood. The movie probably would have been just as good if I didn’t laugh once. As for my fellow movie-goers, I’m scared they got lost in the humor. Basterds is already a fantasy film. It isn’t based on real events and is highly implausible.

With all the blood, guts, and jokes, I’m worried that people will walk away from the film comparing it more to Lethal Weapon than The Pianist.

Posted on August 24, 2009

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