By Dana Alexander ‘22
“I didn’t need to watch the credits to know this movie was directed by Wes Anderson,” said Pat Swanson.
For the past two-and-a-half decades, Wes Anderson has invited the world to his labyrinthine style of filmmaking. His films are littered with whimsical and intricately constructed characters and dialogue. This is then complemented by carefully staged symmetrical shots that seek to push the boundaries of the word nuance.
On Oct. 29, I, along with Patrick Swanson, Danny Hartz, and Matt Durkin ventured to AMC Crestwood to view his new film, “The French Dispatch,” described as a love letter to journalism, infused with the signature style of Anderson.
Within the first few shots of the film, it was made abundantly clear that this was an Anderson production. His patented symmetrical shot served merely as an appetizer for the visual feast that laid in store.
Every shot of this film was utterly masterful. Anderson has become an artist who is aware and confident in his own vision. This film presents a magnum opus of an artist who is boastful with his skills. The end result is something that is just bombastically gorgeous.
The central story works under an anthology structure, showcasing three major stories. Each story resonates with sentimental passion and is powered by an above all love for journalism.
“Every story was an attention getter. It was impressive how you get attached to every character in such a short time,” said Matt Durkin.
Adding on to Durkin’s admiration for the film, Danny Hartz said, “I thought the film was more Wes Anderson then Anderson himself. The multiple story arcs were truly a cool experience and breath of fresh air from most stuff that have come out recently.”
However, once stepping into the undesirable shoes of a critic, the film began to present its flaws. The beginning of the film was prolonged and slow, hindered by Anderson’s delayed attempts at setting the scene. Parts of the story dragged to the point where they felt more like filler rather than integral parts to the story.
Lastly, the ending just felt rushed. It leaves the viewer with an unsatisfying feeling of simply wanting more.
Yet the film is still enjoyable. Besides the bumps in the story beats, it’s just an all-around joy of a picture. It seeks to bring to life the fantastical stories we were told as children and presents it on screen in a more mature fashion.
“The French Dispatch” is an undeniable delight of a film that will turn the average on-looker into a devout fan of journalism.
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