Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004) - Movie Review

Wes Anderson makes the wackiest of stories and the implausible characters. He does so both laughing and caring at them simultaneously. At a certain speed for the story, we are laughing out loud on the eccentricity and the goofball nature of the people, especially Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and suddenly like a appreciable speed breaker he would depart and dip us into this moving emotion in between those people, again especially with Steve Zissou. “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” might be the weirdest, funniest, most surreal, cinematic, genuine and emotionally touching film you can find in this era of straight forward story telling.

The biggest lodge of complaints against Bill Murray is his stoic face for every thing. Love, anger, laugh, quirky and the list of the things an actor rehearses and seasons to bring through are carried on by his stone face. Whether he takes extra effort to be such, I do not know but the characters he plays with an unknown enigma differentiates from each other. He was the lonely old man searching for a lost love in his life of many girl friends in Jim Jarmusch’s “Broken Flowers” and as the bored celebrity in a strange land he fell in love with Scarlett Johannson in “Lost in Translation”. Both brought two different people having similar emotions. Many might say that they can be interchanged in the films and still will not spot the discrepancy. I would disagree because despite the connecting factor of loneliness and the grey hairs, Bill Murray brings on a dialogue delivery which can remotely emotional of various diversity according to the situation and the surroundings. He with that frigid face emphatically succeeds in being Steve Zissou, the wacky sailor ganging up his crew to revenge for his friend Esteban’s death (Seymour Cassel). The killer is a doubtful Jaguar Shark.

Penning along with Noah Baumbach, Anderson creates people with combinations we meet with in the dreams (of course after seeing another Wes Anderson film). Zissou had his glory years of adventurer in his films (documentary he says) saving sea creatures which were thought to be extinct and daredevil explorations. He is been having a dry period of films not hitting the audiences and his wife Eleanor (Anjelica Houston) getting fed up with his deadly sea cruises taking lives. Many say that the film which Steve showed appears to be fake as there is no evidence of this shark he claims to have eaten his friend. He wants to achieve everything out of this voyage. Vengeance, lost fame, his wife and possibly his long last abandoned son of his, Ned Plimpton (Owen Wilson).

There are writers and directors whose imagination are striking. Not alone because of the picture they draw upon the screen but how precisely they could able to communicate to their audience that this what I thought of and here you go, enjoy it as I did in my own mind. Without a thorough development of bringing out the nerves in the brain to the sketch, this would have been a try not a completion. The surreal creatures are placed not in the central frame but along the back ground of these characters.

Steve Zissou goes through the phase of any famed personality seeing the demise of it. He has love for others. The pale approach on speaking with people does not hide that fact. He is giving up and then kicks himself to run the show for one more day. And then there is the young pregnant beauty on the boat. Jane Winslett-Richardson (Cate Blanchett) is the journalist doing a cover on this man, possibly the only hope of his resurrection amongst the media. As a broken hearted lonely husband, he battles for attention from her along with his “might be” son Ned. Though Jane likes Ned without any surprises. I love the way Anderson provides the last name with nice details attached to their personality and background.

Having praised about “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”, the reader of this review should be cautious. Because depending on the eyes this might be easily be the classic you would cherish or the crap you would hate to individual frames of it, taking time to curse it hoping for this horrible film to end. How could I say that when I loved it? It is because of the taste. It is indeed a fact that I would recommend even the worst films to some of the people who adore films to make an opinion of their own, this film I can see the few of the people despising it for its existence. Strange when a director’s film can propagate the duality of it to its viewer.

This is a film which is rich in photography, music, editing, screenwriting and the direction. It is an exercise in how a story of unbelievable characters living in a world resembling one of ours pass on the funding to be made in to a film. And am glad it passed because Wes Anderson provides the entertainment and enjoyment without any disguise for its natural element and does not compromise a bit for the way it treats its characters.

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