Sunday, April 12, 2009

REVIEW: The Inglorious Basterds Script...SPOILER FREE...

This one will be a tip toe walk through a mine field.

I've never written up a script review before, but when you get your hands on a Quentin Tarantino script, you do everything in your power to let that be known. ESPECIALLY when it is as amazing as this piece of writing is.

Inglorious Basterds is the long awaited World War II epic from the modern legend that is Quentin Tarantino. Over 15 years in the making, this was a film that originally looked to bring together an epic action cast, pretty much a carbon copy of what the current Expendables cast looks like. However, a major overhaul happened (no clue as to why), and now we have a cast featuring Brad Pitt and Eli Roth. A different feel? I may have to say yes.

All of that said, I'm here to enlighten you on what exactly the film is about, without giving anything away, and that is what I will do.

During World War II a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers.

That is where things get interesting. The first trailer has been released, and while it's toned exactly how the film will be, the real lead of this film is Melanie Laurent as the orphan girl, Shoshanna.

The film opens on a really well written scene of verbal cat and mouse, in which her family is given up by a farmer, who is holding them below his house to save them from being massacred by the Nazi party and it's soldiers. She is able to escape without being harmed, and from there, we jump to the next chapter (the film is set up in five chapters; Chapter One: Once Upon a Time … Nazi Occupied France, Chapter Two: Inglorious Basterds, Chapter Three: German Night in Paris, Chapter Four: Operation Kino, Chapter Five: Revenge of the Giant Face), where we finally meet a group of Jewish soilders, affectionally called, the Basterds. Led by Lt. Aldo Raine, a.k.a. Aldo the Apache, the group is on the trail trying to bring down the hated Third Reich.

Thats really as far as I can or will go with plot, so onto some critisicm.

Wow, this was a great read. Really well written, brilliantly stylized, and it is really just a great piece of writing from Tarantino. I think Latino Review put it best in their script review about a year ago.

If you took the bad guy swagger of RESERVOIR DOGS, the uber coolness and structure of PULP FICTION, throw in the revenge angle of KILL BILL, set it in World War II – you get INGLORIOUS BASTERDS.

Also, what's great about reading Tarantino scripts, the directors notes are within the writing, so one is able to sort of visualize the film in his or her head. There is one chapter, chapter 3 I believe, which is set to be shot in a "French New Wave Black and White," which I think will be the showstopper of the film. It comes in after the introduction to the Basterds, where some of the major plot mechanics set up shop.

Finally, the actors cast in the film seem to be perfect for the role, particularly that of Eli Roth. He plays the most interesting Basterd, Donny Donowitz, the Bear Jew. He takes a baseball bat (the one shown in the poster above) to soldier's skulls, and enjoys every bloody second of it. There is also a sort of neo-mythology behind his character, in that based in German legend, The Bear Jew is a Golem, an avenging Jew angel of sorts.

Everything about this piece worked. The villain, Hans Landa, was viscious and just fun to read, the leads were strong, and the story, in all of it's stylized glory, was phenominal. This may be one film that we won't be able to forget when it hits in August.

Go see something good!

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