The Silent Majority

Bridging quality and accessibility.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

There are times when we let ourselves become vulnerable enough to be touched or moved by something. This “something” can be anything, really: a kind gesture of a passer-by, or the most complex, and elegant piece of music you have heard. One such “something” for me was a cult-hit called The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

If you’re familiar with Wes Anderson’s films you will spot his signature style in the first seconds of The Life Aquatic – a film about a man, amidst a mid-life crisis, questing for revenge (to hunt and destroy the shark that ate his best friend), but more importantly to quell his fears of becoming obsolete, both in his public and private lives.

The Life Aquatic is a fantastic example of how what should be shown versus told, and how much more you can glean from a movie watching experience as a result. You’re guided, not directed to make connections. The viewer draws conclusions about plot points, and character relationships. There are many instances in which the dialogue can be interpreted in many ways, and other times when an awkward, over-acted delivery actually makes the moment more genuine.

A multitude of characters contribute to the growth and exposure of the centre-piece, Steve Zissou, culminating in one of the most heart-rending moments I have experienced watching a film. In one simple moment, the quest for vengeance, self-redemption and purpose is completed. This moment just hangs for the viewer to absorb. The dialogue accompanying the scene is vague enough, that it seems to ask, “Well, what do you think?” Perhaps the reason this moment is so touching is that it allows the viewer to almost experience the moment as their own and not Zissou’s.

It’s the “take what you will” quality of The Life Aquatic that makes it truly versatile in delivering a fantastic experience to the casual viewer, or the most proudly self-proclaimed Wes Anderson fanboy or girl. It may sound like I see no flaws in this film, and for the life of me, I don’t. This isn’t because there aren’t flaws, it’s because I have opened up a little more to this movie with every viewing that by now the beauty I see in it blindingly outshines its flaws.

Dillon Taylor

Dillon Taylor is a born-again atheist with very few qualifications to do much of anything. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Kinesiology, and currently lives in Korea where he splits his time between: eating, drinking, eating, sleeping, drinking, and shallow attempts to expand his mind. Oh, he teaches English too.


Written by thesilentmajoritysays

February 19, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Posted in comedy

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