Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

So... I Finally Read Tarantino's 'Inglorious Bastards'...

I just finished reading Quentin Tarantino's 165-page draft of his highly anticipated project, Inglorious Bastards.

Quite a read! If anything it's going to be a wildly entertaining, insane ride of a film, and his core fans certainly won't be disappointed.

In as simplistic a way to describe it as I can conjure up, it's a film about angry Jews paying back the Nazis for their many atrocities during WWII.

It's chuck-full-of the usual Tarantino favorites -- violence, shock value, female heroes, plenty of child-like humor, and chunks of snappy dialogue, often loaded with foul-language and popular cultural references (for its time anyway).

I wouldn't look for anything of genuine substance here. It's not a film that's at all interested in anything more than to purely entertain its audience, much like most of Tarantino's previous films.

It's a smart script (although sometimes it feels a little too smart, as if it knows how smart it is), and reads more like a novel actually, than your standard formated screenplay.

Full of camera directions, it's very clear that Tarantino knows exactly what he wants to do with the film, and there's a kind of reassurance in that.

Even though it's being labelled a WWII movie, it's most certainly a work of fiction. There's very little here that's based on historical fact, and Tarantino clearly knows that, and has fun with essentially retelling history his way -- a history whose outcome we all know well, which makes it all the more intriguing to read as he shifts and shapes the story, taking many liberties with characters and facts, giving us an ending to the war that I think many would have preferred than what actually transpired. But his ending doesn't necessarily affect the present.

One complaint I have is in the number of characters in the script. There are about 20 speaking parts, and each plays an important role in the progress of the film, so I had some difficulty keeping track of who was who, as characters enter the story, disappear for awhile, and then show up again later. But I suppose Tarantino seems to love the multi-character, multiple story structure, with intersecting storylines, and characters crossing each others' paths - a style evident in his earlier films like, Resevoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill. It makes me wonder if he can actually tell a smaller, singular story, with a lot fewer characters. What he gives us is, in essence, a feature film comprised of several individual short films.

Shooting this will be an expensive challenge because of the sheer number of locations, from Germany, to France, to England - that is if he decides to go for true authenticity in terms of location, attire, etc. Keep in mind that the film takes place 60+ years ago, so there'll certainly be a challenge to recreate time in those countries - again, if he cares about how authentic the film looks; and given that he obviously doesn't care about presenting a historically factual story, we can guess that he likely wouldn't bother with production design details - at least not too rigidly.

There is actually very little English spoken in the film, which I found intriguing. A significant portion of it is in German and French, and will obviously need to be subtitled. And we all know how Americans dislike reading subtitles, given the often weak financial performance of foreign films in this country; so I don't know how concerned the production and distribution studios will be about the film's box office prospects, given that most of it is in 2 foreign languages (as it should be, given the storyline) and, by the way, will be shot partly in black and white!

However, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio (assuming they are both cast in the film) will have to be able to speak one or both languages convincingly, and I'm not so sure either can really pull that off, especially with the little time Tarantino plans to allot to the film's production schedule, with a Cannes 2009 debut as his intent.

By the way, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that there's an interacial love story between a young Jewish girl and a Black Frenchman!

It could be a much shorter script. At 165 pages, there are a few scenes that I think can be removed entirely, or shortened significantly. But, again, when has a Tarantino movie ever been less than 2 hours?

Overall, an entertaining read, as I said earlier. I had fun reading it... it's pure candy and not much more, which might be unexpected given the subject matter. You'll likely find several themes from Tarantino's previous movies within Inglorious Bastards - the mix of ecclectic characters all working towards some specific goal in their own individual ways as we saw in Pulp Fiction; the female anti-hero seeking revenge as we saw in Kill Bill and Death Proof; the "chattiness" of Resevoir Dogs, and more.

I'm curious as to how it will be received - by Jews especially; whether its lack of historical accuracy will be a turn-off for some, or quickly dismissed as unapologetically entertaining fluff!

Whenever the film makes it to theatres, I'll certainly see it, despite my Tarantino aversions!


Post a Comment