Paws and effect: Isle of Dogs is political commentary and visual treat
It’s been almost a decade since Wes Anderson last used stop-motion animation, and this movie has his singular aesthetic stamp all over it.Updated: Jul 05, 2018 17:37 IST
- Direction: Wes Anderson
- Voices: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin
- Rating: 4.5 / 5
Isle of Dogs transports the viewer to a fictional Japanese city 20 years in the future. An outbreak of ‘snout fever’ has prompted the cat-loving mayor to banish the entire canine population to an offshore garbage dump.
In a sudden reversal of fortune, the mangy pack stumbles upon an unlikely ally in an orphaned 12-year-old boy (Koyu Rankin) who is determined to rescue his exiled pet.
It’s been nine years since Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Grand Budapest Hotel) made his foray into stop-motion animation, with Fantastic Mr Fox. He returns to the technique — frame-by-frame manipulation of handcrafted models or puppets — in his ninth feature. Broken up into four chapters, the plot is predictable, but the stamp of Anderson’s singular artistic vision is all over it.
He embellishes the political parable with a wealth of cultural references, notably to the cinema of Akira Kurosawa, whose rarely seen 1970 film Dodes’ka-den, about shanty dwellers at an urban trash heap, is an obvious influence.
The painstaking production design, widescreen compositions and lustrous color schemes are a delight. The A-list voice cast and throbbing music score by last year’s Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water) also contribute to the overall impact.
Recommended viewing for Anderson fans, aesthetes, cinephiles… and also dog lovers and kids.
First Published: Jul 05, 2018 17:37 IST