Review of Wes Anderson’s ‘The Swan’, ‘The Rat Catcher’, and ‘Poison’: A Brief, Sharp Analysis


Netflix Releases Wes Anderson’s Adaptation of Three More Roald Dahl Stories

Last year, Wes Anderson delighted audiences with his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s short story, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Now, he brings three more Dahl stories to the screen in his signature style. “The Swan,” “The Rat Catcher,” and “Poison” are the latest additions to Anderson’s Dahl collection.

The Swan: A Tale of Bullying and Redemption

In “The Swan,” the story follows two obnoxious boys who torment Peter Watson, a gentle and intelligent boy. Asa Jennings portrays Peter, while the tale is brought to life by Rupert Friend as the narrator. The elegance of this short film lies in Anderson’s use of narration, bringing Dahl’s voice to the forefront. With stunning cinematography by Robert Yeoman and Roman Coppola, the film captures the otherworldliness of Quentin Blake’s illustrations, a homage to the renowned artist who illustrated many of Dahl’s books.

The Rat Catcher: A Dark Fairytale

In a true homage to The Brothers Grimm, Anderson presents “The Rat Catcher” as a dark fairytale. Richard Ayoade, playing a reporter, and Rupert Friend, a mechanic, listen intently as Ralph Fiennes portrays the eerie Rat Man. With discoloured nails, yellow teeth, and a rat-like appearance, Fiennes captivates as he discusses the cleverness of rats and the art of capturing them. The Rat Man’s words flow smoothly, as described by the reporter, “as if he were gargling with melted butter.”

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Poison: A Thrilling Encounter in Colonial India

Set in India during British colonial rule, “Poison” tells the gripping tale of Woods, played by Dev Patel, who discovers a venomous snake, a krait, curled up on his friend Harry’s stomach. Petrified, Harry lies still while Woods enlists the help of Dr. Ganderbai, portrayed by Ben Kingsley. The two attempt various methods to remove the deadly snake, including injecting Harry with anti-venom and using chloroform to sedate the krait. In this short film, Anderson skillfully captures the tension and excitement of Dahl’s story.

Short Films as a Springboard to Brilliance

Short films, such as these adaptations of Dahl’s stories, have the power to distill brilliance and captivate audiences. Anderson’s adaptations stay true to Dahl’s vision, offering a spectacle of storytelling in just 17 minutes per film. Each short captures the essence of the original stories, enhanced by Anderson’s artistic flair and attention to detail. “The Swan,” “The Rat Catcher,” and “Poison” are currently streaming on Netflix, allowing audiences to immerse themselves in the magical world of Roald Dahl once again.



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