Film: Canine feature of flamboyance

Written By: Rita Di Santo
Published: March 28, 2018 Last modified: March 28, 2018

Isle Of Dogs


Director: Wes Anderson


Wes Anderson’s heart-breaking, stop-motion feature Isle of Dogs is set 20 years in the future, where the corrupt mayor of Japanese metropolis, Megasaki, has banished all dogs affected by an uncontrollable disease to a trash island.

The adventure kicks off when the mayor’s 12-year-old nephew, Atari, steals a plane to rescue his pup Spots from the maggot-infested hellhole. There, assisted by a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, Atari begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire prefecture.

With his second animated feature, after 2009’s Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr Fox, Wes Anderson has delivered one of the most wonderfully stylish entries into the genre. Flamboyant, without ever lapsing into whimsy, the story unfolds with the simplicity of a fairy tale while the script, co-written with Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Kunichi Nomura, brims with charm and warmth while packing a solid social message.

Anderson’s characteristic humour, surreal touches and a fertile mix of styles create an enchanting trompe-l’oeil, an extraordinary optical illusion, that depict animals and humans in a magic unique dimension.

Flamboyance is the keynote of Alexandre Desplat’s impressive score, too, travellng from comedy into action-thriller territory with thunderous Japanese drums.

Bryan Cranston’s charismatic presence appears in the voice of ‘Chief’ a central figure in the canine world, while Rex, voiced by Edward Norton, is the first to question if the worth roughing each other up over first. Other star names popping up include Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel and Yoko Ono.