Survivorfan’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think I might like Wes Anderson.
If we're good friends you may know I'm not the biggest fan of Grand Budapest Hotel... I found it mediocre. Isle of dogs was better (yes, better), but still wasn't great. But two more Wes movies got added to Hulu, so I thought I'd make my friend Mofa happy and watch his favorite film.
I've always been intrigued by Wes Andersons style. It's unique, anybody knows that. He uses colors masterfully, and his films have an atmosphere. A lot of this comes from his technicals. The cinematography in this movie is beautiful, as Wes does. The colors are used very well, not as good as Grand Budapest, obviously, but it's still amazing. The score is very interesting, as a lot of it comes from other pieces of media, I believe I recognized pieces from Charlie Brown, and even instrumental versions of Christmas songs. I am not a big fan of when films do this, but I thought it fit very well in this film. Costume design was also very great, which is also a Wes Anderson staple I'm assuming. They fit each character well, and only add to the character development.
I did have a flaw with the film technically however, and that would be the editing. Occasionally there were fantastic editing decisions, but often there would be unnecessary cuts in very bad spots. A lot of this comes from the decision to add 'chapters' in this film. These chapters are absolutely unnecessary to this film. There is truly no reason that the film needed chapters, and only made the film feel messy. Every time the film cuts to the next chapter, it cuts after a random line, and the chapter doesn't keep you wanting more. Every time something big happened I expected the beginning of a new chapter, but the film decided to end and begin each chapter in the weirdest spots. Look, I'm not an expert editor, if there's a reason for this, please tell me because I'm truthfully confused as to why Wes would make such an easy mistake.
Often Wes gets a bit of hate for his writing, and I will admit I hated a bit on the Grand Budapest screenplay. This however, is a fantastic screenplay. Specifically, this film is fucking hilarious. There's a moment in this film that, I am not over exaggerating, is a top 5 funniest moment in film ever. This film isn't about much, and I feel that that's part of what I love about it. A lot of my favorite films are about nothing, and I love this film for it. It's really just about these characters and how they react together. It's a film about family and struggles.
The characters in this film are great! The main couple, Richie and Margot are awesome characters. Margot especially is possibly my favorite character in the film. She's hilarious with her non-enthusiastic responses to everything. The stand out is quite obviously the man himself, Royal Tenenbaum. First of all, awesome name. Second of all, this is one of the best characters I've seen on screen for quite a while. He is fantastic because he's deeply flawed, but he does have a clean, clear arc. Some characters however, do not work, simply because they aren't developed enough. I love Bill Murray, but his character as Gwyneth Paltrows husband doesn't work at all because he isn't developed at all. I like what Wes was trying to do with Cha, Ben Stiller's character, but I still don't think it works as well as he wants It to. The character isn't bad, I still enjoy it. The biggest flaw in possibly the whole film however, is Owen Wilson's Eli. He isn't developed at all, but has a major role in this film. I don't understand why I am supposed to hate him, and quite frankly I don't hate him nearly as much as I'm supposed to.
Anyways, I don't have much to say. This came at the right time, and although the review may seem negative, I completely enjoyed this film. Probably a new favorite of mine. Can't believe I like a Wes Anderson film.