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Wes Anderson's Whimsical short, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (2023) | Review

Henry Sugar, a wealthy man, decides to take on an extraordinary challenge - he wants to master an extraordinary skill in order to cheat at gambling games.

Adapted from a collection of short stories written by the extraordinary Welsh writer, Roald Dahl. Wes Anderson finds himself drawn to Dahl’s whimsical and delightful imagination once again.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (2023) was a bizarre, non sensical display of monologues and storytelling shown through a collection of theatrical beauty and humour. Using classic theatre elements like multi-roling and interchangeable sets, this feature showcases the beauty where stage meets screen. It felt as though watching a theatre performance unravelling in front of your eyes, as though you should be in a theatre watching a spectacle of performance before you. I adored the attention to detail and bringing the theatre to life on screen, it didn’t distract from Anderson’s vision, it instead amplified his originality.

Wes Anderson has an eye for detail, able to combine simplicity and complexity with ease and beauty, his distinct style of speech and humour is a breath of fresh air during this bold rendition of Dahl’s story. Sticking to Anderson’s recognisable style we can see his distinct style of speech and monologues paired with bold coloured sets and costumes. Every element of this short film embodies Wes Anderson’s unique voice all squeezed into 39 minutes of fun.

The cast were all fascinatingly perfect for their roles, particularly Ralph Fiennes in the role of Roald Dahl himself. Sat in a recreation of Dahl’s famous writing hut at his house Gipsy House, it was truly wonderful to see Fiennes immortalise such a character. Overall, I was surprised by my sheer enjoyment of this short film. I was beyond pleased by the execution of this humble story and I find myself keen to watch it over and over.

7.5 Probe Points


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