Several speculations regarding the narrative, the plot and even the full cast of the film have been trending on the internet for a while now.
Ever since the trailer of The French Dispatch, one of the most anticipated films of the year, released, Wes Anderson fans across geographies have not been able to keep calm.
However, knowing Anderson is a magician who can pull a rabbit out of his hat when you are least expecting it, do we really have a clear picture of what The French Dispatch is all about? If you consider The Grand Budapest Hotel to be a beautifully written love letter, with its vibrant candy colour palette, Anderson’s last film Isle of Dogs is an illustration on the nature of man-animal attachment, an almost scientific study.
- All of Anderson’s character are on a chaotic journey
- Why Timothee Chalamet’s character is a win-win?
- Anderson makes every single frame standout
All of Anderson’s characters are on a chaotic journey
From the trailer of The French Dispatch, its rapid jump cuts between the present, neatly done in pastel shades, and the black and white montage of stories that Bill Murray’s Dispatch magazine is working on, it seems that all of Anderson’s character are on a chaotic journey. At the head of it is Murray himself, of course, the editor of this French literary magazine, swinging between proactively unleashing chaos and being strangely nonchalant about the outcomes.
Watch The Trailer —
Now, look at the assortment of stories we have at hand. A seemingly mad artist, the May ‘68 occupation of France, and the kidnapping of a chef. What do we have in common? A strong narration, typical of Anderson to stitch them to the primary timeline of the film, in short, the mellow yellow office of Murray who believes in hire and fire and most importantly no crying in the office. Anderson’s sense of humour has always been commendable.
Timothee Chalamet’s character is a win-win
Dry, borderline delving in silence, and a quick delivery of sarcasm even when dealing with subjects like civil unrest. Case in hand, The French Dispatch. Timothee Chalamet’s character Zeffirelli, almost takes us back to Bertolucci’s Theo from The Dreamers, although we are looking at completely disparate situations here.
He is a student activist, protesting against the onslaught of consumerism, capitalism and American imperialism, at the culmination of which, on May ’68, the French economy came to a complete standstill. Grave, isn’t it? Not when Zeffirelli shrieks, “I am naked, Mrs. Krementz” in a relatively small shock, for his angst had possibly subsided, while he comfortably sat in the bathtub reading the newspaper.
Anderson makes every single frame standout
Mrs. Krementz, least flustered but rather amused says, “I can see that!” Anderson has a structure. Anderson has symmetry. It is clinical, the way Anderson makes every single frame standout. The French Dispatch is not an exception. It is not in the cinematography that we detect a hint of chaos. On the contrary, it seems like an ode has been written to chaos, a thematic exploration of it, though the psyche of his characters.
Somewhere towards the beginning Tilda Swinton, mannequin-like, describes Dispatch as a “factual weekly report on the subjects of world politics, the arts—high and low, and diverse stories of human interest.” She does so, commenting on, not just the nature of the literary journal, but by that extension on the nature of the work that the journalists do.
Murray’s carefully assembled team of “the best expatriate journalists of his time” may after all be misfits. Is there a subtle implication that the nature of journalism is a bit chaotic? Coming from Anderson, it simply wouldn’t be a hard-edged yay or nay. He would rather have you indulge in an hour-long debate, sitting with a smile plastered on his face.
The article is written by – Poorvi Ghosh