Monday, October 6, 2014

The Royal Tenenbaums

The Royal Tenenbaums showed just how dysfunctional a family could get. For example, the father, Royal Tenenbaum himself, always introduced his daughter Margot as his "adopted daughter". This isolated her completely from the rest of the family. One trick the director used to emphasize this was to always put Margot in the back corner of a shot, except when she was with Richie. Richie was sort of like her excuse to be a part of the family. He helped her through a lot. But any time Margot was without him, she was tucked away in the corner. This showed how separate she was from the rest of them. She had her own agenda, she was doing her own thing regardless of what the family wanted her to do. When the whole family visited the grandmother's grave, Royal says Margot never got invited because it wasn't her real grandmother. At the graveyard, she distances herself from everybody and doesn't even appear in the same shots as anyone except for Chas's children. She is kept very separate.

Eli Cash played an interesting part in the movie. He wasn't really a Tenenbaum, but he desperately wanted to be. This played out with him having an affair with Margot and sending Etheline his newspaper clippings. He is very conflicted throughout the film, and this is conveyed by always having him surrounded by odd things. There is always something behind him, there is always something going on in the background, and it feels very chaotic. He also always has an air that he doesn't quite belong. This is shown with his cowboy hat never leaving his person, even when he is hiding in Margot's closet. Eli always has to be wearing his cowboy costume, even though he doesn't quite fit in with it on, because that is who he would like to be. This represents how he wants to become a Tenenbaum but just never quite fits in with the rest of them.

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