Language : English
Director : Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson … (screenplay by)
Wes Anderson … (story by) &
Roman Coppola (story by) &
Hugo Guinness … (story by) &
Jason Schwartzman … (story by)
Cast : Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Steve Park, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson
Genre : Comedy | Drama | Romance
Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Disclaimer: Intended for Mature Audiences (18+)
Lt. Nescaffier: “I’m a foreigner, you know.”
Roebuck Wright: “This city is full of us, isn’t it? I’m one myself.”
Lt. Nescaffier: “Seeking something missing, missing something left behind.”
Roebuck Wright: “Maybe with good luck, we’ll find what eluded us in the places we once called home.”
The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, or simply The French Dispatch, is an exquisite anthology comedy drama film written, directed, and produced by Wes Anderson from a story he conceived with Roman Coppola, Hugo Guinness, and Jason Schwartzman. It features a large ensemble cast and follows three different storylines as the French foreign bureau of the fictional Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun newspaper publishes its final issue.
Wes Anderson films are a joy to watch more often than not. He has his own visual language to films that makes his films transform into a genre of its own. If you have watched The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), you will understand exactly what I’m talking about. The French Dispatch probably deals with more mature and complex emotions yet still manages to latch onto the innocence of characters even if they just finished an immoral act moments before. The characters are never judged in Wes Anderson films, they are allowed to exist and live!
Coming to the structure of the film there are 5 storylines going on, 1 central storyline with less screen time, followed by 1 peripheral plot which acts as an introduction to the fictional French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé (from French, literally, “boredom on apathetic”), and which is then followed by 3 major storylines that makes up the crux of the movie. The final 3 storylines slightly merge or connect to the main central storyline if I have to explain in a non-spoilery way.
Special props to Wes Anderson for assembling a grand set of artists including seven Oscar winners :Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Benicio Del Toro, Christoph Waltz, Adrien Brody, Anjelica Huston, and Fisher Stevens; and nine Oscar nominees: Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Griffin Dunne, Bob Balaban, Owen Wilson and Bruno Delbonnel. All the artists have done a splendid job in this ensemble, especially Benicio Del Toro, Timothée Chalamet, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Léa Seydoux, Adrien Brody, Jeffrey Wright, and Steve Park.
Also if you loved The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), you must check out Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012) by Wes Anderson. Coming back to the movie, and the 3 major plotlines,
The French Dispatch (2021) is a very unconventional film, and so are the characters, you can get a cartoonish innocence from the film, even when the film deals with a decent amount of crime, sex, art, politics, journalism and deep emotions. That was beautiful to say the least. Not something I expected but it is what it is. The storytelling takes into each of the 3 stories amazingly well and you certainly feel like a character who lived there at that period while watching the movie. Even though the stories take place in the 20th century, we can relate ever so well with the characters, their thinking, their intent (most of it at least 🙂 ) and their emotions in response to events. Even though technology has evolved so much, there are parts of the human mind which have pretty much remained unchanged over the years and will continue to do so. The French Dispatch (2021) is a very fun film that deals with serious topics if you wish to think more about the topics and characters discussed, if you don’t you can just even enjoy it as a fun flick where certain improbable events take place which may or may not alter the life of the characters in it. If you loved The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), you are very likely to love this one as well even if this one gets a bit darker. There is a lot of sense to be made out of absurdity and chaos in this movie, which actually worked well for me.
Attaching an article that can help you make decent sense of the movie, if you feel you need assistance after watching the movie:
The French Dispatch Ending: The Meaning Behind The Three Main Stories In The Wes Anderson Movie | CinemaBlend
Verdict : 5/7 stars
During the ending credits some covers of The French Dispatch through its history are shown. They were created by Spanish illustrator Javi Aznarez and were loosely inspired by The New Yorker’s covers.
In casting Timothée Chalamet as Zeffirelli, Wes Anderson told GQ, “I never had the inconvenience of ever thinking of anybody else for this role even for a second.” The role was written specifically for him.
Atypical for a movie poster, the ensemble cast is grouped by storylines rather than billing.
Production designer Adam Stockhausen began the location scouting process using Google Maps, looking for promising places before visiting them in person. Stockhausen and Anderson envisioned a town which “felt like Paris but not as it is today – more a sort of memory of Paris, the Paris of Jacques Tati.” The team eventually settled on Angoulême.
Le Sans Blague, the name of the cafe in the film, translates to No Kidding or No Joke.
The movie was originally thought to be a musical, but Wes Anderson denied it before filming began.
If “Ennui-sur-Blasé” is a fictional town, its inspiration clearly comes from Paris. During the car chase scene the license plate number ends with 75 (which belongs to Paris), while Ennui-sur-Blasé’s maps look like a surrealist version of today’s Paris.