If ever there was a writer/director who audiences share a love-hate relationship with. . . .
Wes Anderson established a unique approach to storytelling and style early in his career (although “unique” doesn’t exactly express how distinct this technique has become, compared to the current studio-level landscape), and The Grand Budapest Hotel serves as the next iteration of his brand. But the screenplay isn’t exactly a primer for beginning writers. It’s rather long, rather wordy, and rather low-key as far as plot, even for the genre, a dramedy that, like many of his other films, almost defies a specific categorization. Novel-like in its execution.
So why should you read it, especially if you’re a long-standing member of the “Wes Anderson Makes No Sense and is Terrible” club? Because of the writing. Imagine that–a screenplay worth reading because of the writing. Believe it or not, though, not all great screenplays feature great writing. Some nail the mark in plot, or an extraordinary structure. Or dialogue and character, solo. With Grand Budapest, you could argue it’s not the most engaging storyline, yet Wes’ ability to draw us in through character and dialogue is nothing short of remarkable.
Then again, he’s been doing this a while. That whole “learn the rules before breaking the rules” idiom? Wes Anderson’s at the stage where he can break the rules he’s already set. And the byproduct is an uncommon voice in an industry dominated by the common.