04 June 2009

The Royal Tenenbaums

A quirky film, The Royal Tenenbaums is about family bonding, distinguished by its rich characterisation. The Tenenbaums are a family of geniuses; however, this doesn't mean they are happy. We see the parents divorced and living apart and we also see their children growing up to be an unhappy and insecure bunch of thirty-somethings.

However, despite the bleak plot, it is a feel-good film showcasing the attempt by the father, Royal Tenenbaum, to make amends and to pull his family back together. His sons and daughter do not look at his return with innocent expectations; however, soon enough they realise that somehow being a family one cannot expect perfection. Forgiveness is important as it enables lives to go on, not stuck with guilt and memories of bad experience.

Enough with the gist of the film. Sadly and unexpectedly, I don't empathise much with the film, finding it a bit too pretentious as it tries so hard to be quirky and eccentric. It may be better as a novel, not as a film. I don't know why I feel this way. Let me give you some possible reasons. You may choose one.

(A) I get bored of this overused style of contemporary weirdness and eccentricity to portray the postmodern sense of humanity.

(B) With this cynical style of representation, I just don't expect cheesy happy ending with Royal Tenenbaums dying happily with his sons, daughter, and grandchildren understanding him. In other words, I just don't expect this kind of film to 'teach' in such a didactic manner.

I have a dysfunctional family so I just don't believe in family bonding.

I have a male menopause.

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