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Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Life Aquatic

I forgot to mention this, for some reason, but I saw The Life Aquatic over the Easter weekend, and I reckon it was bloody brilliant.

Bill Murray is a genius, this much should be obvious by now. And Wes Anderson continues to do things, visually, with his films that we've never seen before. Every shot seems to have been genuinely composed - sure, there's a lot to be said for his eye for excruciating detail, but sometimes there's just something amazing about how he has a group of actors and furniture simply arranged in a room.

It's the most eccentric, marvellous and stunningly individual film I've seen in years. It's genuinely successful and coherent, artistically, and a relentless and entirely satisfying piece of sheer entertainment as well. What's more, it feels as if it was made by a person, rather than by a company. The only films I'd feel comfortable comparing it to, outside of Wes Anderson's own earlier works, are maybe the better Coen brothers'.


At 3:36 pm, Blogger Brian W said...

I enjoyed Life Aquatic as much as (if not even more than) the other Wes Anderson films, while I was in the theater. I mean, what boy doesn't get giddy over the idea of having their own island fortress (or a nice set of matching airline-branded travel bags)?

But later, I felt like a chance at something warm & human & adult was lost somewhere along the line. Cate Blanchett's character never made much sense, and there were so many elements of the relationships left unexplored.

Still, much better than the (highly) mediocre reviews made it out to be. And I really like the bit when they all run at the end. And the fortress island.

At 4:05 pm, Blogger VFD said...

You may well be right. Sigh. I'm with you on Cate Blanchett's character, I suppose.

I'm not sure I've seen a movie recently with quite so many neat bits, though. I mean, the guy with heaps of stuff to autograph, the trophy shaped like a fish, Bill Murray posing for a photograph atop the half-sunken ship of his arch-rival, the boxes of "Adidas Zissou" shoes, little Owen Wilson's desk and stationery, the dude singing Bowie songs in Portuguese, that little viewing room at the bottom of the ship, heck, even the shots of the "cutaway" ship from the side. It's just jam packed with little gems like that. I dunno, it just tickled me, I guess.

Plus, I think that Bill Murray's character was pretty well fleshed out, and a lot of his relationships with the others felt pretty solid. Perhaps we're only really supposed to be seeing the other characters through his eyes, and how they intersect with him. Or something.


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