Advaith Achanta’s review published on Letterboxd:
2004 Ranked - Click HERE
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou has a meandering story, unfocused plotting and features uneven tonal shifts. It's a film that shouldn't by any means work, but somehow it does and to great effect.
Wes Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most unique voices in cinematic history and Steve Zissou might be the most interesting of his films. It's not even close to being perfect, but it's extremely unique and absurdly satisfying. The characters are pretty much one note, but that works quite well with the film's intentions. Bill Murray is fantastic, Owen Wilson might be the most grounded character of the bunch and William Dafoe as Klaus is the absolute best. Every single performance is great and syncs perfectly with the idiosyncratic nature of the script.
The purposeful use of cheap looking CGI for the marine animals and underwater sequences is a fun idea and it totally works. I loved how emotionally resonant the story is without actually even trying to be that. I mean that scene nearly teared me up (you know which one). One thing that didn't work for me was the runtime, which is way too long and the story drags quite a lot. A few dialogues feel very out of place, and though it's sometimes a part of the films charm, it doesn't always work.
Overall, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is another feather in the cap for Wes Anderson and his utterly gorgeous color palette, and despite the film not hitting all the right notes, it remains hearfelt, contemplative and comforting.