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Movie Reviews

Posted at: Jul 6, 2018, 7:28 PM; last updated: Jul 6, 2018, 7:28 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: ISLE OF DOGS

A fascinating adventure

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Film: Isle of Dogs

  • Cast (voices): Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama, Koyu Rankin, Courtney B. Vance, Yoko Ono, Mari Natsuki, Liev Schreiber, Yojiro Noda, Frank Wood
  • Director: Wes Anderson
A fascinating adventure
Isle of Dogs

Johnson Thomas

Wes Anderson’s humorous stop-motion animation creation is a wonderful visual comedy with a minimalist narrative and an A-list voice cast ably lining up the chuckle-worthy moments. And there are quite a few in store!

Isle of Dogs is clever, beautifully thought out and it invokes present-day issues to score its many hits. The film may apparently be about dogs and the way their haters change the real world narrative to neuter their existence but it could also be an allegory on the way the majority make decisions that keep the minority away from the benefits of development and general well-being. Though the animation appears a little flat, the quality of the character design and other animated elements is top-notch.

Set in the near future dystopian Japan, the vibrant narrative takes us into Megasaki city (overrun by incurable Canine diseases), where the Mayor-elect has okayed an executive decree banishing all the canine pets of the Prefecture to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island. His adopted nephew Atari’s bodyguard dog Spots is the first to be exiled. So the12-year-old Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of Spots. And therein lies the adventure.

Anderson is obviously remarking on how authoritarianism leads to self-destruction and his intention here seems intended to highlight the need for balance and humaneness in political and social decision making. The stop-motion animation work is enchanting and appears well suited to the style and intent put forward here. The narrative does appear to have been stretched thin and becomes a bit sluggish in latter half but the positives overwhelm that. Even the anthropomorphizing of canines doesn’t seem out of place. This may not be a rollicking adventure but it’s a fascinating and largely entertaining one.

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