By Noelle Monge
When you hear the name Wes Anderson, a specific film style comes to mind. You are instantly transported to an alternative universe that could exist, but is too vivid and usually too bizarre to exist. You think of iconic color schemes and character aesthetics that are so familiar, yet have a dream-like essence to them.
Throughout his career, Anderson has managed to create his own genre of sorts, which I feel is difficult in a culture that craves normality and happy endings. But what is it about his films that sets them apart from all the rest? Here are three characteristics that make Wes Anderson Wes Anderson.
- The themes
When Anderson sets his heart on a certain motif, he portrays it fully. Although some may claim that he is guilty of cultural appropriation, I think he does it all in a respectfully artful way. For example, in “Moonrise Kingdom,” the small suburban ambience permeates the film. Everyone seems to know all that is going on with everyone else in the town, and nonchalant activities (like the Boy Scouts) are the focal point of the characters’ lives and the film as a whole.
- The characters
No matter how significant to the plot, there is so much depth to each of the characters that Anderson has created. My personal favorite is Margot Tenenbaum of “The Royal Tenenbaums,” the most messed-up dream girl you’ll ever encounter. She’s got relationship issues, the mindset of a 2012 Tumblr girl and a weird fling with her adopted brother.
Although each of these personalities have their own flare, there is a formula that he has created to weave a thread of interconnectedness: kids acts older while adults act younger, they wear their personality on their sleeve/somewhere on their bodies, meaning costumes are always cool and each character has one quirky hobby they refer to constantly (Margot, for example, likes bathing).
- The writing
Anderson’s dialogue has a sharpness to it that’s refreshingly enjoyable. People say exactly what’s on their minds when prompted, and walk you through the logic of their thoughts as well. Most films also have some sort of narration element, which contributes to the sense of escapism you often feel. The plots also take ordinary events (like death in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) and turns them into some wild occurrence.
These films inspire me to go beyond what’s expected of a creator. Great stories don’t have to be out of this world to be unique: they can just tweak up realities for a little umph. Wes Anderson films tend to be an acquired taste, but regardless of whether or not you stan them, they are guaranteed to provide a new perspective.