The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (2023)
Sometimes you come across a story that leaves you spellbound but also befuddled on your first rendezvous with it. These typify Wes Anderson movies. Even now, every time I watch (or rewatch) his movies, I always find something new to take away. Be it a new story telling angle, an easter egg or even a simple life lesson; Wes Anderson’s movies are always a source of delight and wonder.
His latest offering is a short film based on the work of acclaimed author Roald Dahl. This short film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Dev Patel and Sir Ben Kingsley, and works as an adaptation of the short story sporting the same name by Dahl.
Let’s delve into the wonderful story of Henry Sugar, as visualised by Wes Anderson. Those who are aware of Anderson’s work will find themselves familiarised with the narration style in this short film. The film begins with Ralph Fiennes, who plays Roald Dahl, telling viewers about the hypocrisy and greed that encamps in the mind of the rich. He then proceeds to introduce Henry Sugar, whom this story is all about.
Henry Sugar is a 40-something man who is living off his father’s riches. He spends his days idly, looking for ways to earn more money and does not wish to make any fruitful use of his time. When he comes across a diary detailing the story of the mysterious Imdad Khan, the man who can see without his eyes, he is utterly intrigued.
Henry makes it his life mission to acquire the gift that Imdad had in order to make money instantly by gambling in the casinos. What proceeds from here is a nice fable about riches and fulfilment in life.
True to Wes Anderson’s style, the characters repeatedly break the fourth wall. This style of narration invites the viewers closer into the story. It makes them feel involved.
The warm pastel shades synonymous with the director’s prior works make a comeback here. It’s a welcome change to see some of the stalwarts of acting world come together, even if it was for a mere 38+ plus minutes.
The rapid narration by the characters, the scenes changing (literally) on screen to the stop-motion-esque visuals in the film – this Wes Anderson directorial is treat for those who wished to see more of the director after Asteroid City. It won’t be wrong to say that this short film can also be a starting point for someone new to the Wes Anderson style of filmmaking.
Read More: The Swan (2023) Netflix Movie Review
Verdict - 7.6/10