Some good lines but overall dull and contrived quirkiness
Ever go to a family gathering, eg. a Thanksgiving, with someone you
just met? The family thinks that they're really different and goes out
of their way to prove it to you: there are a million inside jokes, none
of which are ever explained to you; they laugh constantly at the
simplest lines; everyone has a quirk or two which is revealed to you
with great glee; they're forever saying how you'll "get it" if you
manage to survive the holiday hahahahahahaha.
If you enjoy this kind of thing, you may like Wes Anderson. "Royal
Tennenbaums" was just an extended version of a weird family. Much like
most theatre, the characters speak in isolation from any plot or
character development so that the fabric of the story is unnecessary.
The author merely intends to grind his/her point home.
"Life Aquatic" is a variation on this theme: Bill Murray's extended
family is on his boat and a quest for a killer shark. Various family
problems/ issues surface and are worked out (or not). No one really
interacts with any depth: it's as if they're each in a separate bubble
that slightly rubs against other bubbles. There's no chemistry, depth,
feeling, character development, consistency.
Anderson's defenders no doubt love this "quirky" feel as it's so like
real families who don't actually interact. Yeah, OK, maybe on stage
people are like this.
One of the tragedies here is Bill Murray. He's been sleepwalking
through movies for 10+ years. He's always the same guy who mostly
watches as the world goes by, occasionally delivering a funny line.
Here it's just more of that, but sometimes in a scuba outfit..
810811374 watch Surf's Up movie
the life aquatic is an awesome movie. wes anderson is brilliant..
zeifilm watch Wolke Neun movie
That's not clever - that's dull!
This film is a very odd duck. It's ostensibly a comedy, yet any viewer
with a developed sense of humor might at best smirk once or twice. It
has an all-star cast of actors (the sort of "stars" that might have
participated an episode of Fantasy Island 25 years ago), yet there
isn't any acting going on - only recitation.
I found it difficult to maintain mental focus for the first hour of the
movie. I felt physically uncomfortable as I endured the unfunny,
monotonous, call-and-response dialogue and as it became obvious that
the characters were all going to be one-dimensional, (right down to the
predictably-timed, forced and maudlin admission of vulnerability made
by each). My attention drifted, and I found myself mentally critiquing
the sets and the way the shots were blocked, but this only made the
experience more tedious. I don't know if the film was deliberately
intended to look cheap (artificially lighted, statically posed, etc.);
perhaps these qualities, along with the poorly animated sea creatures
(and poorly animated actors) were indicative of a level of cinematic
sophistication I simply cannot comprehend. I guess my irony sonar has
finally given up the ghost.
Bill Murray is playing Bill Murray again. The "dialogue" consists of
one actor (either to the extreme right or left of the shot, or, if it's
Bill Murray, staring directly into the camera) reciting a line or two
while another (at the extreme opposite side of the screen, preferably
in profile) waits his or her turn. Repeat ad nauseum. Entirely stilted,
unnatural, annoying, dull. It truly looked as though every scene in the
film was a first take, as though the budget didn't allow for a second.
Again, perhaps this is the new "cool" way to direct; maybe this makes
the film "arty," I don't know.
For those of you who like comparisons, outside of a couple ridiculous
"suspense" and "action" scenes that harked back to such highbrow gems
like The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and That Darn Cat, The Life Aquatic
makes My Dinner With Andre seem wholly unpretentious - an incredible
feat to have accomplished without resorting to any of the clich.