Review | Isle of Dogs (2018)
- Directed by: Wes Anderson
- With: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton
(…) a curious and captivating narrative is built around a serious and compelling theme, that is quite close to the modern days dystopia shown on television and film, with a more kind, human and lighter tone, that ends up acquiring an unexpected and peculiar depth.
The magnitude of the new film by iconic filmmaker Wes Anderson is almost indescribable, thanks to a meticulous detail and to a peculiar narrative. The director’s style is present and alive in this curious story of an empire with great admiration for cats and, as always flows through its iconic transitions with living colors and light contrasts and the characters and narratives that rarely follow a linear development. It is probably not one of his most accessible movies, in terms of accessibility to the public, thanks to a story that encourages a closer look at the small details and peculiar aspects, but this is what ends up adding potential to this very amusing story. There are countless delicious moments that arise in the film, with slight bits of humor, which is particularly noticeable in some peculiar aspects that arise during the plot. Isle of Dogs is centered in the Japanese city of Megasaki, which decided to expel its entire canine population to Trash Island, as a protection measure against an unprecedented dog flu. In this horrifying set, a young boy named Atari decides to rescue his dog from Trash Island, against the mayor’s orders, ending up lost and accompanied by five special dogs. The scenario is, therefore, a mixture of post-apocalyptic genre, with dogs walking towards death in an island filled with debris and trash, and a powerful city with a somewhat extreme-ish view against them (which creates a whole range of outcomes and quirky moments).
The history, from this point on, acquires an increasingly darker tour, while its focusing in Atari’s grand adventure and in the rebellion against the mayor’s recent laws against dogs. And this is where Wes Anderson shines again, by taking advantage of a serious topic with a more encouraging tone that cultivates the curiosity of the viewers and promotes empathy for its characters, particularly the four-legged heroes that decide to help the boy on his journey. The tiny but memorable details, that are an almost inevitable aspect of Wes Anderson’s style, in the sense of portraying a scene, in which every single shot appears to be carefully studied, the intriguing personalities and the somewhat dark contours the history acquires make Isle of Dogs a unique viewing experience.
The contrast of the warm and bright colors of the city and its tradition contrast with the colder and grayer tones of garbage island, also contributes to the tragic future that is upon the poor dogs who were expelled from their homes. And in a way, the music itself contributed to this vivid contrast with more melancholic tones for the journey of Atari and faster and energetic tones (with strong and fast beats echoing) in the most intense moments of the film.
This way, a curious and captivating narrative is built around a serious and compelling theme, that is quite close to the modern days dystopia shown on television and film, with a more kind, human and lighter tone, that ends up acquiring an unexpected and peculiar depth. Isle of Dogs, is for all the reasons mentioned above, an interesting addition to Wes Anderson filmography, a beautiful and detailed visual experience, stylish and with a curious story that gathers a massive cast filled with great names of the industry and that contribute to these emotional and captivating characters that provided more depth to the story.