Directed By: Wes Anderson
Written By: Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Cinematography: Robert D. Yeoman
Editor: Andrew Weisblum
Cast: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Harvey Keitel, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban, Lucas Hedges
Set on an island off the coast of New England in the 1960s, as a young boy and girl fall in love they are moved to run away together. Various factions of the town mobilize to search for them and the town is turned upside down – which might not be such a bad thing.
This film has quite a strange mix as it is more of a children’s tale as they fill out the cast but it also has some rather risqué scenes and material involving them. That fits the rebellious nature of the characters and the film. General, it also as the film has an innocence and wholesomeness that is timeless. You never quite feel that there are any dastardly hidden levels or messages. It is all on the up and up. As the film is full of characters who all have character.
As even the few villains that might be in the film. Aren’t malicious, they are just doing what they are supposed to despite the various facts and factions that might require them to abandon the rules.
As the film tries to be an ensemble it feels like the characters are in a dollhouse of sorts. Where they are all connected and there is melodrama but the film never gets bogged down and stays quite lively. Even if it feels at times mroe that everyone is on a playground and they have a connection. So that they constantly affect one another like dominoes being set up. When one falls it falls into another and changes its trajectory.
So while we have the young adult couple as the leads. We see how running away affects the status quo and the adult characters.
That rebellious nature is through the film as it offers some new wave filmmaking influences, moments, and obsessions. which are radical while it focuses on the first love between the main characters. Especially as two outsiders who find solace in each other at random.
Though luckily for all of the influences on display here. The writer/director manages to make them his own original
The movie is beautifully filmed. Which makes the scenes simple yet effective with constructed shots and angles. With sharp attention to detail and the time period are amazing, but are a few of the things writer/director Wes Anderson’s films are noted for.
As the film feels like a storybook throughout. As we constantly feel like we are in a fantasy or dream of a child. Even as the films show some maturity and a bit of sexuality. Which is dealt with so simply and carefully that thankfully it. Ever feels exploitive.
The film tries to give a view of the disappointments and sometimes tragedy of adulthood. Like you are missing something or have lost a certain perspective and quality of yourself. As the world is still cruel, but you Don’t know how to deal with it. You don’t challenge it or morph it to your sensibilities. It has morphed you and you realize it as you try to rational ways to deal with or distract from that revelation.
The film is filled with whimsical cuteness. From a cast that seems more willing to let the harder edges of their performances that they usually bring and let themselves go and be softer and gentler. Surprisingly Bruce Willis is the most memorable in the supporting cast. One of his last memorable movie performances before returning due to health issues.
The novice performances add to the innocence of the characters and situations. Even as they act older than they are, but are still kids at heart. Which makes their story a little more romantic and the adult ones are messy and sad. Yet can’t totally understand or are more envious and want to break it up. As if they can’t have one, why should they?
The more you watch this film the deeper the appreciation of it begins.
In the end, the film is charming and offbeat as it offers the hope and magic of romance. Dependent and understood only by the two involved. A belief that anything is possible when powered by love. As it is the two of you against the world and how relationships are adventures in of themselves even if just emotionally. Only here it is done more physically