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The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou – Review

30 April 2005 No Comment

Famed oceanographer Steve Zissou is a burned out has been who is on a quest for revenge against a mythical shark that killed his partner while filming a documentary. He goes on one last run to film a documentary about his hunt. Money shortages become the least of his problems.

There is more to the plot than the short synopsis above, such as Owen Wilson’s character that may or may not be Steve Zissou’s son, it’s one of the running gags and is done really well. Then there are the marital problems Steve Zissou and his wife are having, which is also pretty funny.

Bill Murray is excellent as Steve Zissou and steals the show, as usual. The supporting cast worked well together and were perfect. The rivalry between Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum’s characters is extremely funny because Steve Zissou is so hopelessly outgunned.

The animation in the film is noticeably unrealistic, which works in its favour, it adds to oddness. There is always this edge of anticipation that something bizarre is going to happen. The comedy isn’t straightforward; for lack of a better description it’s cerebral slapstick, it pushes the boundaries of what is normal comedy and the plot also goes off on a tangent. Without giving any of it away, things get seriously twisted, can you say John Woo meets Charlie Chaplin.

The soundtrack is also very off-centre, one of the cast members is always playing a guitar and singing in Portuguese, and the songs are David Bowie songs. It’s really bizarre to hear Life On Mars being sung in Portuguese. Then there is this camp electronic soundtrack that sounds like it’s out of the 80’s and is meant to sound that way, it’s also very quirky. Definitely worth getting if you have an ironic sense of humour.

THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU is one of the most original comedies to come out in a long time. It really lives up to the hype surrounding it like Steve Zissou.

CAST: Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Angelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon and Bud Cort

DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson
SCREENPLAY: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
RUNNING TIME: 118 Minutes 
GENRE: Black Comedy
RELEASE DATE: 1 April 2005

RATING: 8/10

“A Surrealistic Black Comedy That Goes Off On A Tangent”

Buy it now

Review by Punjabi_Goth for Africasgateway.com

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