Isle of Dogs – Film Review
Okay, so… I think this is the longest time between writing my notes for a post and actually writing the bloody post. But I’ve turned a new leaf. I’m going to be a GOOD BLOGGER. Here’s the post I wrote ages ago about a film that came out even longer ago!
Wes Anderson is one of my favourite directors and his film The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of my favourite films ever. I couldn’t wait for his latest film, Isle of Dogs, to be released and I had such high expectations.
ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbagedump called Trash island, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly found mongrel friends, he begins and epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
Watch the trailer:
Isle of Dogs captures the heart and soul of Grand Budapest but in stop-motion animation form, which I love. It has everything that is synonymous with the iconic Wes Anderson style and I LOVED IT, right from the very beginning. It’s one of those films that I can’t wait to watch again as soon as the credits roll.
One of my favourite things about Isle of Dogs is the symmetry, which is one of the key elements of a Wes Anderson film – and one of the things I love about his films. So much of it felt so much like The Grand Budapest Hotel, especially the symmetrical settings, the almost monotone characters and the long lines of dialogue, and the dark, dry humour. As much as I don’t like to compare films to other ones, TGBH is my favourite film so I can’t help it! And when the style of these two films is so similar, it’s such an easy comparison.
The style of animation felt like nothing I’ve seen before. Obviously I’ve seen stop-motion, but this felt completely different and I loved it. I can’t put my finger on what feels different about this animation, but it just does! (I’m so good at reviews, right?) Some people found the style too creepy but I thought it was super cool.
Another thing that made this film amazing was the incredible cast. What a cast!! It includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and more. I mean, how amazing is that?! They were all such perfect voices for the roles, especially Bryan Cranston who played Chief, and (new current love) Jeff Goldblum who played rumour-spreading, gossip-loving Duke. Also, Oracle, played by Tilda Swinton, was one of the best characters in the entire film.
I loved how so much of the film’s dialogue is in Japanese, including Atari Kobayashi, the main boy who goes on a search to find his missing dog. We see Atari throughout the whole film and even though he only speaks Japanese in a generally English-language film, he doesn’t have subtitles – you just kind of get what their saying based on the context.
I saw so many parents in the cinema with confused and bored children – I bet they’d taken them because it’s an animated film, but it is definitely not a children’s film! Just a warning if you have kids who you think might like this filmâ€¦ they might, but I can imagine it can also be pretty confusing to a kid.
Finally, the soundtrack was another thing that captured my heart. I loved the music as I watched the film, and then when the credits rolled, I realised it was because it’s my favourite composer, Alexandre Desplat! Desplat also did The Grand Budapest Hotel’s soundtrack (surprise, surprise – I’m mentioning that film again) and The Shape of Water, which I also adored. So it’s no surprise that I loved the Isle of Dogs soundtrack.
(Oh, by the way, have you picked up on the fact that Isle of Dogs sounds like â€˜I Love Dogs’ when you say it aloud? It took me SO LONG to realise this. Apparently, even Jeff Goldblum – part of a actual cast – didn’t notice this either until they went on the press tour for the film.)
If you haven’t seen this yet and fancy something completely unique to watch, add Isle of Dogs to your list!
Have you seen Isle of Dogs? What did you think of it?