YOUR THEATRE ACTOR
GREG Thorp, who lives in Rawtenstall, has been a huge film enthusiast from a very young age.
He is a fan of Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson and Denis Villeneuve. One of his all-time favourite picks is Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones was one of the first films he ever watched and is his favourite childhood film. You can email him with comments and observations at: email@example.com
Isle of Dogs, PG, 101 mins
ISLE of dogs is first and foremost a brilliant film which was expertly birthed by Wes Anderson and his superior directing.
The film flawlessly combines witty dialogue and beautiful imagery to
deliver a film amongst his best.
It shares the same stop motion animation style as one of Wes Anderson’s prior features: Fantastic Mr Fox.
However, the more recent addition to Anderson’s collection transcends the elder in both style and substance, offering an even more quirky sequence of events, destined to deserve the £10 that you will spend at the cinema.
Isle of Dogs tells the story of a dystopian Japan, where all dogs are outlawed by official decree and are exiled to the extremely undesirable Trash Island. It is to this wilderness that 12-yearold Atari travels in an odd fashion for the sole purpose of finding his long-lost dog and best friend, Spots.
Much like many of Wes Anderson’s prior directorial features, this story incorporates lots of wit and humour but, also adds emotional nuance with moments of melancholy and suffering.
It is in these moments where the normal light-heartedness is abruptly interrupted by moments of pure emotion which make this film truly special. These scenes are deftly communicated by
the hugely talented cast who bring this motley canine crew to life.
Isle of Dogs inevitably has a large cast, primarily consisting of Anderson’s usual collaborative actors, all of who lend themselves to their respective characters with great success.
In particular, Koyu Rankin and Brian Cranston (in his collaborative debut) turn in utterly great performances, conveying their respective characters in a fashion to which you question if any other actors could replace them.
This is not to ignore the rest of the cast, who also performed outstandingly, with my personal
favourites being Edward Norton as Rex, and Jeff Goldblum as Duke.
In his unique way, Anderson delivers exposition and even dialogue – usually delivered in cheap and meaningless ways – with comedic effect.
The greatest example of this is at the beginning of the film where, as a title card explains, all of the dogs’ barks have been rendered into English, while humans speak in their native languages, with English subtitles utilised very minutely.
This was very risky as, for large segments of the film; it is tricky to understand what is being conveyed to us. Even the
main character, Atari, we have no understanding of, but, the emotion shown by the world-class animation leaves us with a wealth of knowledge of the character which counteracts the lack of dialogue to perfection.
This was also done so that we, as viewers, were made to embrace the Japanese culture and to immerse us in its fascinating dialect. Anderson wanted us to ‘listen to people speaking in Japanese and not just focus on the translation’ because of the fact that subtitles are distracting and an easy method of breaking the language barrier.
Instead, he uses the
character of Interpreter Nelson (Francis McDormand) and an English-speaking type-writer to communicate the vital fragments of dialogue.
Inevitably, Isle of Dogs is a fantastic film.
I say inevitably as Wes Anderson is truly a master of film, with his library of nine films; all of a good standard.
For me, Isle of Dogs is one of his better motion pictures, rivalling that of Fantastic Mr Fox, The Royal Tenenbaums and even The Grand Budapest Hotel. Its uncontested animation is of the best quality and is utterly absorbing.
This film could be watched without sound and enjoyed but it would not allow for the heartfelt moments that are delivered through the mixture of EnglishJapanese dialogue.
All aspects of this film allow for true beauty and amazement, even the finer points like the score, which was crafted by Alexandre Desplat.
But the film also has its darker side which awakes a fearful and worrying response for the beloved characters.
A journey of empathy and redemption; Isle of Dogs is a masterpiece.
●● Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs