"The Royal Tenenbaums" Review

April 21, 2020

 

“The Royal Tenenbaums” is a film written and directed by Wes Anderson who is an American filmmaker.

 

Anderson is best known for his odd characters and dysfunctional family settings. His films will overemphasize some personal traits of each character in his film to showcase how difficult relationships can be to maintain. This film in particular highlights just how hard it can be to maintain family relationships, whether it be a sibling rivalry or a complicated parent relationship.

 

This film follows three siblings who all had great success in their childhood and eventually fall to disappointing standards in their adulthood. The siblings Chas, Richie and Margot have been distant for some time, but eventually all find themselves living under the same roof in their childhood house with their mother. They are all brought together by an alarming phone call from their father, Royal, who had been absent for a while and said he was dying of a terminal illness. This news is shocking to his children and his ex-wife Etheline, so they all decided to try and reconcile for what may be Royal’s last days.

 

Anderson likes to touch base with real life situations and how detrimental they can be. As the film moves on, we learn that Royal was faking his illness as a means to see his children and ex-wife once again. Lying is something that arguably everyone has done at least once in their life, and Anderson takes on some extreme measures to display how one little lie can be unraveled into a giant situation. Throughout the film, Margot struggled with being the only adopted child of the Tenenbaums and how she never felt like she was a part of the family. Since she has a hard time coming to terms with it, she concocts lie after lie so that no one will ever know her true self. Marot’s compulsive lying is eventually found out, which affects her relationship with her husband Raleigh, but brings her closer to her family.

 

Another aspect that Anderson pulls into his films is the concept of failure. Failure is an aspect of each character in the film and towards the end is something that they all come to terms with. This film is a drama comedy that highlights the importance of family and that no matter how much your family might annoy you, having them around to support you when you are down is the best thing. Although the failures have set them back, having them go through the process of redemption has helped them flourish into their best possible self. Character development is an important aspect of Anderson’s films.

 

The thing that makes this film so appealing along with his other films, is not only the relatability amongst the characters throughout the film, but Anderson’s ability to make the film appealing to the eye itself. He uses color combinations and cinematography techniques to highlight and show the artistic aspects of film while bringing personality to the screen.

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