Benjamin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Wes Anderson’s treatise on fascism is as beautiful as it is messy. All of the technical things that have come to define Wes Anderson are turned to 11 here and I’m comfortable saying this is one of his most visually impressive and hilarious outings. The actual story doesn’t take me as far as Wes’ means of delivering it. Which I find somewhat anomalous as I typically find the two elements to be wondrously in sync. Here though, I can’t help but feel that Wes is best equipped for stories about relationships, and he’s trying to tell a story about the rise of fascism. Certainly Wes centers the relationships, but I don’t know that the central relationship, or the extended framing devices really speak to the larger themes.
To speak to the value of those framing devices though, I will say I found them to paint a much more compelling picture of the danger of nostalgia and the beauty of It. There’s a broader extrapolation of that idea that I think should have been expanded upon; namely in connecting the nostalgia of Zero Moustafa to the decline of his adopted nation. Might have helped to make the Nazi imagery hit a bit harder for me.