Exploring the seas terrifies me. The endless blue waves that roll and span out into infinity leave too much space on the horizon. And underneath all that water, are an unknown quantity of mysterious and dangerous creatures coming in the strangest shapes and sizes. Maybe some of that fear is why Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” is such an appealing film to me.
“The Life Aquatic” is Wes Anderson’s fourth feature-length release. Bill Murray is the lead actor, and Owen Wilson and Cate Blanchett are two of the numerous supporting actors in this film.
Also in this movie is Seu Jorge, a Brazilian artist, who covers popular David Bowie songs throughout the film. His acoustic covers are homely and create a beautiful soundtrack for key moments in the film.
Free Dive into “The Life Aquatic” with Chef
To start out, this movie is a classically designed Wes Anderson film, so pastel colors and a strong sense of symmetry are evident in each frame of the film. Anderson’s directorial style is so perfect for the script and story that take place.
Take a look at this scene that describes the boat Steve Zissou and his crew live on:
Another great aspect of this movie is the use of puppets and CGI. The fictional sea creatures that Zissou and his team meet and encounter are gorgeous and colorful. In the opening scenes of the film there is a beautiful rainbow colored seahorse that encapsulates the audience’s attention and imagination.
In terms of characters and character development, Steve Zissou and crew all become better people by the end of the movie. Zissou is a manipulative, womanizing control freak, but his softer sides prove that he deserves and can actually feel love.
My singular favorite artistic contribution to “The Life Aquatic” are Seu Jorge’s covers. He translates and rewrites David Bowie covers like “Life On Mars?”, “Oh You Pretty Things” and “Ziggy Stardust”.
The tracks are all acoustic and create a beautiful ambiance on the screen (and off the screen if you listen to the tracks at home). Here’s a look at some clips of Jorge himself playing in a few scenes:
I love this film. Everything from the music to the cinematography creates a beautiful, perfect planet where everyone loves nature and respects it. Maybe that’s one of the takeaways from this film, but I also love the characters.
For being an a**hole, Zissou really does love people in his own way. It’s nice to see how terrible people can be and understand that even they need some type of love in their life.