Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Right from its cover everything about this movie is off-beat. If you are looking for a whimsical composite character check Steve Zissou out. He is Capt. Ahab, Yves-Cousteau, Capt. Haddock and a jaded James Bond all rolled into one. I cannot think of anyone else who can play the eccentric Steve Zissou other than Bill Murray. He manages to be all-at-once full of sadness, reckless bravado and ennui. Zissou says, "I thought I was going to go in a blaze of glory, but I think I am just going home." His best friend gets eaten by a shark, then he bumps into his illegitimate son, no one will finance his expedition, his wife(Anjelica Huston) leaves him, and a rather pregnant Cate Blanchett shows up to write a cover story. What could possibly go wrong here? The boat is then attacked by pirates and the crew threatens mutiny. Still there is no sight of the elusive jaguar shark.
The movie is of the sink-or-swim type. If it does not swim in the first 20 mins it's already a lost cause. But if it manages to hold your attention beyond that then this movie is treat in a way it's really hard to describe. It has so many bizarre things going all at once. Pele is constantly singing David Bowie songs on the acoustic guitar in Brazilian Portuguese. While there is that script girl who is always wandering around topless, the sparkling dialogue is more fascinating. Full credit to Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach. They shot the Zissou documentaries in the movie using old Ektachrome stock to give it the saturated color look. There is an apparent method in this madness and one wants to indulge the director's idiosyncrasies. Now I sorely want to catch Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale and Wes Anderson's other movies.
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Steve Zissou to a pirate: Don't point that gun at him, he's an unpaid intern.
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Steve Zissou to the pregnant Jane-Winslet: You really think it's cool for you to hit the sauce with a bun in the oven?
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I liked the odd-ball scene where Zissou's team 'attacks' a fellow rival Allison Hennessey's (played by Jeff Goldblum) research station to find it locked.

Ned Plimpton: Who locked us out?
Anne-Marie Sakowitz: No-one, we're trespassing.
Ned Plimpton: Steve, are we allowed in here?
Steve Zissou: It's a scientific community, man.

Then Steve Zissou instructs his team to make off with the scientific equipment including a coffee machine after confirming that it can make cappuchino with the vague promise of returning it. (Coffee does fuel research.)

1 comment:

fishr said...

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