The charming world of Wes Anderson

words Bojana Duric

Wes Anderson’s filmmaking has become a style that many cinemagoers have grown to appreciate and love.

It’s hard to believe that in the start of his career, it took some time to win over harsh critics who couldn’t fully understand and embrace his quirky and eclectic style, but now with over two decades in the film industry, Wes Anderson has garnered a massive cult following and a household name.


Nine years after the release of Wes Anderson’s debut stop-motion animated picture and critically acclaimed, Fantastic Mr Fox, he returns with the Isle of Dogs, which has been garnering positive reviews since its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. With a familiar Wes Anderson cast including Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray, the animated feature is set in Japan and follows a young boy who’s searching for his missing dog. The film draws 0n important themes through the eyes of Wes Anderson, and captures the bond between a man and a man’s best friend.

There are many elements to the Wes Anderson charm, but the main thing is that everyone experiences his films in their own way, and no experience is like any other. Audiences sit back and embrace the monotone and witty dialogue, which is contrasted by a dreamy and colourful backdrop, and leave the film with their own personal connection to it. It’s as if Anderson has managed to create his own world filled with elusive characters and storylines which he allows, and encourages, fans to delve in and explore.

Of course there is the director’s ability to blend tragedy and comedy – a skill Anderson has managed to successfully illustrate in all of his films. Take The Royal Tenenbaums for instance – a film that follows three gifted siblings who succeeded and peaked in their youth but grew up to become failures in their adulthood. The film’s plot is anything but light-hearted – you have an absent father who turns up with a terminal illness, a suicide attempt from one of the brothers and a whirlwind of life disappointments, yet the script and actors exude the Wes Anderson appeal making audiences crack up during scenes that should probably make them cry. And it’s not because the director finds these themes amusing, it’s his way of giving his fans comic relief to the countless unfortunate circumstances life can throw at you. This is seen in The Darjeeling Limited as well. Three estranged brothers travel to India hoping to reconnect after their father’s death. All of them are going through their own personal crisis – Francis (Owen Wilson) has suffered a near-death motorcycle accident, Peter (Adrien Brody) can’t deal with his wife’s pregnancy and Jack (Jason Schwartz) is still yearning for his ex. Again, not something many would find funny, but the Wes Anderson charm allows us to see that even in the most horrible situations, it’s important to find the precious moments to have a laugh.

Not only was Fantastic Mr Fox the director’s first time taking on an animated film, but it has also become one of his most beloved films to date. You’d think a the story that revolves around animals would change the way Anderson depicted his characters – instead he stayed true to his monotone, witty, chatty dialogue to make the Roald Dahl classic tale even more loveable. Of course Wes Anderson captures a bit of the serious themes in Dahl’s classic– a fox stealing from wealthy farmers to provide for his family – but he does it using his unique talents to lure audiences into his own magical quirky world.

It’s hard to imagine the film industry without him. From dysfunctional families to animal protagonists, I think it’s safe to say that we can look at Wes Anderson films as their own separate genre. How many times have you walked away from one of his films saying, ‘That was so Wes Anderson’?




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