The French Dispatch is a Kansas-based weekly newspaper of a small town in France and its authors are a carefully compiled intellectual community. The cinematic universe established in this Wes Anderson masterpiece, which we witness the formation of the last issue of the newspaper, turns masterfully written articles into gripping stories.
Arthur Howitzer Jr., who expanded his family’s publishing business and founded his own newspaper, is a perfectionist editor-in-chief. His team, which he carefully gathered, consists of writers trying to produce content in the town of Ennui, France. While we are wathcing the film, we realize that we are witnessing the last issue of the newspaper after the death of Howitzer Jr. During the movie, we get into the articles written while preparing the new issue of The French Dispatch and experience the literary world of the newspaper.
During the movie, we read four different sections of the newspaper with the narration of the editors. During the film, after a reporter’s article about the past and future of the city of Ennui, we find ourselves in three main narratives in the art, politics and food sections of the newspaper. Among these narratives, we watch the editor-in-chief Howitzer’s comments on the writers. We think that it would be unfair to the story to simplify these contents as art, politics and food. In the first narrative, we are watching the article of Berenson about a prisoner who will spend the rest of his life behind bars, his artistic genius and his rebirth with his love for the guard he met in prison. After that Krementz teleports us into the middle of a student movement against the government, she gives firsthand experience of ardent French activism. Finally, food critic Wright of The French Dispatch tells us how a classic gourmet experience turned into a detective story.
There are many aspects of the film that make its narrative strong, but to count its prominent fortes, we can mention the cast, music and the Wes Anderson universe. It is quite exciting to see names such as Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Adrien Brody, Timothee Chalamet, Jeffret Wright, Bill Murray and Frances McDormand together, regardless of the concept. The music, on the other hand, consists of melodies that support the French aesthetic, woven with a masterful delicacy that continues sweetly in your mind even when the movie is over. Of course, all these things we are talking about take place in Wes Anderson’s cinematic universe, which we are now familiar with, and the eccentric and gripping sequence of events we witness turns into a comedy with Anderson’s interpretation. In this way, the film turns into a fast-paced visual feast, which would be incomplete if viewed from another artistic point of view.
We invite those who want to take a look at the latest issue of The French Dispatch by teleporting you to this French town and to listen the playlist we have prepared.