The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Review: Wes Anderson’s Delightful Best

Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, and Richard Ayoade all play many roles in Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Life of Henry Sugar.

Wes Anderson uses his signature symmetry and visual splendor to match the author’s fantasy narrative universe in The Wonderful Life of Henry Sugar, the first of his four Netflix adaptations of Roald Dahl short stories. The end product is a charming 40-minute film that subtly uplifts the soul. This week will see the premieres of the last three adaptations: Poison, The Rat Catcher, and The Swan. (Also Read:- Daniel Radcliffe’s Tribute to Michael Gambon: Dumbledore Remembered as Silly, Irreverent, and Hilarious)

Trademark Wes Anderson aesthetics

The amazing thing about this adaptation is how well the director has chosen to retain all of the decade-spanning magic from the 1977 story. With a cunning nod to the writer, Ralph Fiennes portrays a younger Dahl at the opening.

He carefully takes us to the process of how the novel came to be while seated at a reproduction of the author’s writing desk. This straightforward approach succeeds in establishing the underlying idea that Anderson is in control of the plot, as seen by his signature symmetrical compositions and understated theatricality.

In this scene, the actors play multiple roles and speak straight to the screen. When necessary, pastel illustrations of landscapes are used as the background. It is more of a dreamlike environment with shifting artifice than a film. Like a picture book, where the concepts are more important than the action.

The premise

The film opens with Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar, the title character, a millionaire who wants to increase his wealth. His life unavoidably takes a turn one day when he comes across the book “A Report on Imdad Kahn:

The Man Who Sees Without Using His Eyes” in the library. Ben Kingsley plays the man in question. Doctors Richard Ayoade and Dev Patel, however, attest to his strength. However, Henry Sugar’s unique ability to see without the use of his eyes is the secret to his increasing wealth.

Our man is a gambler, but not a very good one, and he will spend the next few years relentlessly training in order to become an expert in this field. The objective? is to steal money from the neighborhood casino and quickly amass the largest amount.

A wonderful adaptation

The Wonderful Life of Henry Sugar, which Anderson co-wrote with longtime colleague DOP Robert Yeoman and edited by Barney Pilling and Andrew Weisblum, is a triumph in all the ways Anderson has honed his craft of unique, idiosyncratic storytelling with a cool-headed understanding of an emotional core.

The moment Henry Sugar throws £20 notes onto the street below while standing on his balcony is where the enlightenment occurs in this wordless scene. This is the perfect combination of style and source material, with Dahl’s caustic wit perfectly balanced by Anderson’s signature mise en scène.

Anderson doesn’t even make an effort to alter anything; much of it is accepted as is and moved quickly. The genius of structural integrity is in the way the director packs visual markers such as backgrounds, temporal shifts, and actor substitutions for characters into the frame.

A delightful adaptation, The Wonderful Life of Henry Sugar is full of humor and a strong sense of its place in the world.

It implies that the true human need to create and nurture lurks beneath all the ornamentation and strange similarities. There’s no short path to that specific sense of fulfillment. Follow it.

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