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Film Review: Isle of Dogs


Year: 2017
Director: Wes Anderson
Writer: Wes Anderson
Story By: Wes Anderson, Kunichi Nomura, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola
Cinematography: Tristan Oliver
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum
Country of Origin: USA
Rating: PG-13
Time: 101 mins.

Wes Anderson is back with another stop-motion animation film called Isle of Dogs and yes, I'm quite shocked that it took this long for him to make a kawaii, Japanese-inspired film. In a dystopian future Japan, dogs have been quarantined on a remote island due to a "canine flu". A pre-teen boy, Atari, ventures to the island to find his dog, Spots. A pack of dogs help Atari search for Spots and evade the authorities. 

I had not intend on watching this film considering that when I saw the poster down below, it just screamed "LOOK AT ME, I'M JAPANESE." But I decided to suck up my pride and watch the film and was pleasantly surprised how irresistibly charming and heartfelt the film was. One major mishap comes from Wes' decision to set the story in Japan which can come off as an aesthetic choice rather than a narrative one. The topic of cultural appreciation vs appropriate comes into play, which is always a fine line but you decide. It's not perfect but it's Wes' love letter to dogs and after all, this is Wes' World and we're just living in it. 

So Yun Um