Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” encapsulates what makes Anderson unique as a director and showcases his ability to adapt his craft into something new. “Isle of Dogs” establishes itself as one of Anderson’s best films along with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Rushmore.” The film is a visual masterpiece packed to the brim with quirky humor, staggering attention to detail and a gripping narrative.
Wes Anderson’s greatest trait as a director is his ability to transport audiences to another world. The worlds Anderson creates are imaginative and absurd, yet they are tied together with an attention to detail. “Isle of Dogs” is Anderson’s most completely realized world yet. Its continuity is remarkable, and each scene is packed with details that solidify its reality. In the film, Anderson again showcases his ability to build a world that is both familiar and other-worldly at the same time.
The film is visually stunning. Anderson is known for his unique directorial style, and he continues to refine this style. The film is shot in stop motion with hyper-detailed miniatures. While this may be off-putting to some, it contributes to the visual style of the film and allows Anderson to completely create every shot. Each shot is dramatically intricate and packed with detail; each one feels like a piece of art. Never before have I seen a film display such a keen attention to detail and commitment to making every second visually impressive.
The narrative of the film is immediately gripping and keeps the audience guessing until the end. Those who are familiar with Anderson’s work will know that anything can happen in one of his movies. Characters can be killed off at any moment, and the narrative can shift at any time. This is a refreshing change of pace from the majority of movies that follow more traditional plot structures. The story is one of love, political intrigue and the testing of bonds both new and old.
The way the film explores language is especially interesting. Nearly all of the human characters speak entirely in Japanese without subtitles. Occasionally ,dialogue is translated for the audience through interpreters or a foreign exchange student, but the audience does not understand a large portion of the human dialogue. This causes the audience to empathize with the dog characters, who act less like dogs and more like people. The film explores a relationship where two characters cannot communicate with each other and how they find the ability to communicate without conventional language, while also showing difficulties that can arise.
“Isle of Dogs” ticks all the boxes required of a great film. It possesses the ability to create a world for audiences to experience. The visuals are breathtaking, and the entire film looks like a work of art. The narrative pulls audiences in, keeps them guessing and delivers meaningful emotional payoffs. “Isle of Dogs” is a must-see film and some of Wes Anderson’s best work.