Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

I saw The Life Aquatic when it opened and felt that it was good. I didn't feel that it matched the intensity of heart and humour that it's predecessors had (I'm not counting Bottle Rocket). It felt like it was missing something. It was good. It was funny. It just didn't seem comparable. I honestly left the theatre feeling that the missing key was Owen Wilson on the script. He'd co-scripted Tenenbaums and Rushmore and I had assumed he was the key.

I'd seen the film a couple of more times between then and now and felt the same way, although I warmed up to it more and more each time.

I watched it again last night and it finally clicked. It wasn't the movie that was missing something. It was me. The moment that finally clicked for me was when Steve wonders allowed if the Jaguar Shark remembers him and and he almost breaks down into tears. I think part of my prblem the first few viewings was that I was watching a Wes Anderson movie and felt that the characters were safe. I didn't think that Wes Anderson would kill Kingsley (Ned) ZISSOU. The first time I watched it I was wracking my brain to figure out if he'd really died or not.

IU was worried too much about things on the surface. What this movie really is, aside from a brilliant comedy, is a story about a man who's life has been unravelling for a decade and everyone around him sees it. The film is about the that moment where he realizes it. Sadly, it takes the loss of his best friend and a son he never had to show him.

This is a touching story about a man coming to a realization of his life. I was just too bamboozled by it's amazing delivery to get it until now.

Maybe I'm an idiot. Maybe I should have gotten it the first time, but I imagine that the reason everyone said it wasn't as good as Wes Andersons other movies when it came out was because they just didn't know what to look for yet.

1 comment:

fishr said...

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